Civic Association President
My self and my neighbors have been experiencing burning nostrils, throats, headaches and general nausia for a few years now and did not know what in the world it was. Until a fire volunteer who had to respond to my complaint of burning membranes and lung irritatiion in the middle of the night a couple of years ago. He told me that the smell and fumes were Milorganite/Biosolids.
In the last year it has gotten to unbearable proportions and has set me on my path to discovery and rallying my community to understand what we have been exposed to. Most community members cc me when they file their complaints so I know what is happening with them.
Name: Silva Ranch Biosolids Land Application Use Permit
Location: The project site is located at the northwest and northeast corners of Clay Station Road and Twin Cities Road , and on the west side of Clay Station Road , in the Southeast community.
Assessor’s Parcel Number: 136-0280-023, 024, 025, and 036; 138-0060-025, 028, 030, 031, 049, 053, 054, 059, 061, 062, and 064; 140-0030-014 and 015; and 140-0050-021
Owner/Applicant:Gary and Tildean Silva 11540 Clay Station Road Herald , CA 95638
Co-Applicant: Synagro West, Inc. 4993 Golden Foothill Pkwy, Suite 2 El Dorado Hills , CA 95762
Project Description: Please note that the description fails to recognize the entire neighborhood of Ag-Res properties across the street from this horrible business!
Renewal of three use permits to allow digested municipal sewage to be spread upon and disked into the topsoil on approximately 3,000+ acres in the AG-20, AG-20(F), AG-80, and AG-80(F) zones as a use not otherwise provided for in the AG zone (pursuant to Zoning Code Section 110-30.5). NOTE: The following use permits are being renewed: Use Permits numbered: 92-UPB-0726, 96-UPB-XXB-0323, and 96-UPB-0576)
Dear Ms. Holt,
I conducted a site investigation in response to your complaint yesterday, August 22, 2011. My findings are as follows:
At approximately 11:30AM, I noted an ammonia-like odor as I drove south along Clay Station Road, approximately ½ mile to the north of Twin Cities Road. There was livestock in the fields to the north east and north west of the intersection of Clay Station Road and Twin Cities Road. I turned right on to Twin Cities Road, heading west, and continued to detect the odor for another ½ mile. The odor was no longer detectable when I reached the Silva Ranch office, located approximately 1.2 miles from the intersection of Clay Station and Twin Cities. The wind was blowing towards the northeast.
I met Jacob Collins of Synagro at the Silva Ranch office and we drove to the biosolids application fields, located to the northwest of the office. No offsite odors associated with the biosolids application fields were detected. Mr. Collins and I then drove then east on Twin Cities Road. No odors were detected along Twin Cities Road until we approached within approximately ½ mile of the intersection with Clay Station Road where an ammonia-like, fertilizer odor was noticeable. We then drove south on Clay Station Road to the intersection with Clay Meadows Road, where the odor was slightly detectable.
Mr. Collins stated that he spoke with the property owner of the fields south of Twin Cities Road and he stated that he was applying Class-A fertilizer pellets, a highly processed, widely available form of biosolids, on his fields south of Twin Cities Roads. Furrows were evident in the fields, indicating recent fertilizer application.
Based on my site inspection, the likely source of the reported odors is the Class-A biosolids fertilizer pellets applied to the fields south of Twin Cities Road. These fields are not part of the Silva Ranch biosolids land application project and are not subject to the terms of the Use Permit, and are outside of the regulatory authority of the Environmental Management Department.
Class A biosolids are sold commercially and publically as a fertilizer and are not subject to the same restrictions as the Class B biosolids that are land applied at Silva Ranch. The California Department of Food and Agriculture has regulatory authority over the manufacture, guaranteeing, labeling, and distribution of fertilizers, including Class-A biosolids fertilizer, per the Food and Agricultural Code, Division 7, Chapter 5:
14505. Agricultural products derived from municipal sewage sludge shall be regulated as a fertilizing material pursuant to this chapter, and when used in general commerce, these products are not subject to regulation as a hazardous substance pursuant to Section 108130 of the Health and Safety Code and are not subject to regulation as a waste under Chapter 6.5 (commencing with Section 25100) of Division 20 of the Health and Safety Code.
If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact me at GibsonLea@saccounty.net or (916) 875-8468.
Sacramento County Environmental Management Department
phone: (916) 875-8468 fax: (916) 875-8513