Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Joint Budget & Finance Committee Releases Report On Beneficial Use Of Biosolids

Among the findings in the report were--
-- PA sends more of its biosolids to landfills than most states.  About 46 percent are landfilled, 38 percent land applied and 15 percent incinerated.  Nationally about 60 percent of biosolids are land applied and 20 percent landfilled.  Disposal of biosolids cost about $70 million by all methods in Pennsylvania, according to a 2007 Center for Rural Pennsylvania report.
-- DEP only conducts periodic inspections of biosolids land application sites.  The Committee reviewed 12 facilities and 36 land application sites for 2014-2016 and found none of the facilities had an inspection and only 30 percent of the sites had an annual administrative review.
-- Public concern over offensive odors has been cited as the biggest threat to the beneficial use of biosolids.
-- Biosolids reduce fertilizer costs to farmers and the use of biosolids is protected under the Right To Farm Act as a result of a 2015 PA Supreme Court decision.
The report contained a single recommendation-- DEP should modify its General Permit requirements to require biosolids generators to develop odor management plans covering both the operating facilities and the receiving sites.
Click Here to watch a video of the meeting.
Click Here for a summary of the report.  Click Here for the full report.  Click Here for the presentation given to the Committee Tuesday by Executive Director Philip Durgin.
Sen. Bob Mensch (R-Montgomery) serves as Chair and Sen. James Brewster (D-Allegheny) serves as Vice Chair of the Joint Committee.

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