Organic Consumer Alert: Toxic Sewage Sludge
Edited by Alexis Baden-Mayer and Ronnie Cummins
OCA staff members went undercover to a meeting of San Francisco Public Utilities Commission employees and the toxic sludge industry last week. We figured, in such a green city, that SFPUC employees would keep an arms length distance from for-profit sludge companies like Synagro that make their money dumping city sludge on rural lands.
However, SFPUC, Synagro and CASA, the state lobbying group for all of California's city sewer commissions, are mounting a coordinated effort to salvage the business-as-usual practice of flushing household and industrial waste away with clean water and then contaminating farmland with toxic sludge leftover when the water is removed. They see San Francisco's sludge giveaway program as an essential component of their national campaign to build public acceptance for the disposal of toxic sewage sludge on yards, gardens and farms. They will fight any effort to shut the program down, and specifically named OCA allies the Center for Food Safety and RILES, who filed a legal petition with the San Francisco to stop the sludge giveaway, as enemies of their campaign.
The scary thing is, this public-private trifecta is well-resourced and unscrupulous. The Synagro rep boasted of earning the support of a local university for a toxic sludge project by promising a $25,000 yearly donation. The CASA rep talked about using "congressional funny money" to fund studies that would provide science that backed-up the industry. And, the SFPUC rep, the public employee, stood by them smiling and nodding as they applauded her for not backing down in the face of public opposition to the contamination of San Francisco's green space with toxic sludge.
Read more about toxic sewage here: http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_20156.cfm
Toxic Sludge makes people sick
"Our government says it’s safe, my body says its not. The sludge trucks are coming now in 2009. Class B sludge, no less. After moving into my new home in 2008, having no idea that sludge is surrounding my home. To the northwest of my home 1/2 mile farmer gets sludge in some kind of holding tanks that stinks like something truly UNGODLY in the winter months when its, freezing outside, so you can imagine the summers here. To the east, less than a 1/4 mile from my home, 2 other big fields get sludged in summer months. BUT next to my home, 1240 TONS of CLASS B SLUDGE, that’s approx 54 tractor trailers started dumping on 8/4/2008.
So now I'm getting ready for the nosebleeds to start, the headaches are starting, I'm hoping I don't get paralysis and chest pains like last year. You can talk to anyone in government and it's not in their back yard, so they don't care. And most pass the buck...and say they have no control. Or its the law...well, laws are changed everyday in this country...I am really disgusted with the lack of ethics and political will of our so called leaders. No wonder some mid easterners refer to USA as infidels, we just spread our shit all over the planet."
Upload Your Testimony / Share Your Story
Do you have a sludge story you would like to tell the Senate committee investigating the practice of disposing of sewage sludge on farmland and on gardens? Upload your testimony and share your sludge story using the form below. It will be delivered to the EPW Committee in Washington, DC. Please note this will be a public document.
Here is the link for your testimony: http://www.sludgenews.org/action/