UNITED STATES
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20460
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S!SEnvironmental News
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE THURSDAY, JUNE 10y 1976
EPA ISSUES PROPOSED TECHNICAL BULLETIN ON SLUDGE MANAGEMENT
Emphasizing the growing sludge problem in the communities
of the Nation, the Environmental Protection Agency has pre-
pared a technical bulletin covering the current knowledge on
municipal sludge management.
The bulletin, issued in proposed form, is designed
primarily to aid EPA Regional Administrators in evaluating
grant applications for construction of publicly-owned sewage
treatment facilities. It also will serve as a guide for de-
signers and municipal engineers in selecting an acceptable
sludge management option (i.e., incineration, landfill, land
application, or ocean dumping).
The EPA document was published in its entirety in the
Federal Register of June 3, 1976.
EPA has been developing environmentally acceptable
methods for the management of municipally-generated sludge
since enactment of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act
of 1972. Research was initially concerned with characteristics
and dewatering properties of primary and secondary sludge due
to the need of dewatering sludge prior to its ultimate dis-
posal. Development efforts have shifted toward improving
technology for reuse of sludge in an ecologically and eco-
nomically acceptable manner.
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Efforts to reuse municipal sludge involve a number of
research projects such as determining the beneficial uses of
sludge for strip-mine reclamation and for soil enrichment in
crop production. Health effect research will include investi-
gation of land application of sludge, disinfection, composting,
and the airborne contaminants from incineration.
New technologies are being examined to determine whether
there are cost effective methods for producing or recovering
marketable products in the processing of sludge. Among such
products may be recovered metals, simple organic acids,
fertilizer bases, soil conditioners, methane for use as a
source of energy, and the recovery of heat generated by
industrial processes.
A large increase has occurred in the amount of sludge
generated by the upgrading of secondary treatment facilities
and the use of chemical precipitants for nutrient control.
An estimated nine million dry tons of sludge per year is
anticipated when secondary treatment is achieved by the Nation's
publicly-owned sewage treatment plants.
Because of the growing sludge problem and the wide interest
in the subject, EPA is seeking comments on the proposed bulletin.
Views and data are especially sought on publically acceptable
sludge management alternatives, the occurrence of heavy metals
in sludge, the control of these contaminants in the agricultural
use of sludge in growing foods, and related impacts on the human
food chain.
Comments, views, or data received by September 1, 19 76,
will be considered in development of the final document.
Letters should be addressed to the Director, Municipal Con-
struction Division (WH-547), EPA Office of Water Programs,
Washington, D.C. 20460.
If public interest in sewage sludge utilization expressed
during the 90-day comment period proves to be a major concern,
public hearings will be held prior to publication of the final
document.
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