August 21, 2008
They began dumping sewage sludge 3/06. When we called the DEP to dispute the letter we received they told us there was nothing we could do about it and told it was safe, they never mentioned we could have a Hearing if we requested it.
Many of us in the neighboorhood got serious respiratory illnesses, many had pnuemonia, that fall and Winter. I now have scars and spots in my lungs that need to be monitored. July 2007 worst the worst assault we had ever experienced, and believe me everytime they spread it is unbearable. This batch was tons of rank sludge that smelled like 20 dead deer bloated rotting in the hot sun. The stench lasted over 2 months and had a 2 mile radius, it permiated everything. It made people sick, literally throwing up at their homes. We had to close all our windows and turn on air conditioners wasting electric just to be able to breathe. I wear a face mask when I went outside for safety. It made our entire neighboorhood totally uninhabitable.
At that time we all started talking to each other and found that many of us were sick with respritory infections, skin rashes, skin lesions, burning eyes and throats, stomach ulcers, migrane headaches and there are 5 people in a 2 block radius that have had MRSA. We had 2 horses colic and die 10 days apart from something they injested that we could not find with an autopsy. Did the wildlife or blowing wind bring an endotoxin or toxin into our horse fields?? We will never know, but we wonder now.
We live on a farm and deal with various animal manures every day so we are used to "normal" agricultural smells-SLUDGE IS NOT A NORMAL AGRICULTURAL practice, nor should it be!!!. Several homes drinking water now has coliform bacteria, nitrates have gone from 1.2 before sludge to 9.3 in less than 2 years of sludge. There are hundreds of thousands of pollutants in sludge any given day, the DEP tests for 9 heavy metals and 2 pathogens once a month or so. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that it is not safe. The pollutants that they manage to take out of the sewage water are concentrated back into the sludge and there is NO SCIENTIFIC PROCEDURE that they do to remove most or all of them, the viruses, bacteria, dioxins, PCBs, hospital waste, mortuary waste, industrial waste, super bugs etc. could all still be there. Composting, airating or heating it up and throwing lime into it does not remove the pollutants.
Our property values have been diminished, our quality of life has been ruined and we are afraid of what we have been and continue to be exposed to. The EPA and DEP are a joke with out dated science that was only based on theory in the 503 ruling, never from scientific testing. Rural America will not tollerate this assault on their lives any more and land Application needs to stop immediately. They can turn human waste into renewable energy, the science is out there and that is what we need to do with it and stop destroying our air, soil and water with this toxic waste.
Please stop land application IMMEDIATELY!!! THE TIME HAS COME!!!!!
Susan Fox/Jeff VanVoorhis, New Freedom, PA