September 1, 2008
When we moved into our home in 1990, we were excited that our closest neighbors were cows. Then in 1997 we received a letter that sludge was going to be spread on the neighboring farm. My husband and I both said "oh no they are not." Never in my life would I have imagined that we would have absolutely no say in matters that would affect our health.
I have developed skin boils every year when they spread sludge. My husband had many unexplained reoccurring infection; some he was hospitalized for. We cannot enjoy the outdoors at our house. I cannot hang out wash. We cannot open windows. The stench is overwhelming. I have diabetes and my doctor wrote that I should not be exposed to pathogens in contaminated water, ground or air sources. I gave this letter to the PA Department of Health and nothing was done. My repeated complaints to PA DEP resulted in an answer "this is normal farm odors". There is nothing normal about sludge odors. It ranges from the odor of thousands of cats urinating on our property to the smell of death.
PA DEP tells us that scientific tests prove that sludge is safe, yet the reports have never been seen. My husband and I fear for what damage the sludge has caused to us that will show up later in life. We have spoken with State Representatives, DEP and anyone that will listen. DEP tells us to talk to State Reps, and they say that DEP says it is safe. The sludge farmer also received over 2 million dollars for farm preservation from the state only to allow him to pollute the land with sludge. Our tax dollars. This adds insult to injury. I have attached pictures that I took of sludge spread on a dirt access road to the sludge fields. I called DEP and our Conservation District. It was a Friday afternoon and no one answered their phones at either location. The next day, after a rainstorm, the sludge washed down to the road and to a field that had gullies of water running into a creek which is part of the water supply for Reading, PA. DEP told me they could not use my pictures because they did not take them. The report that was filed showed DEP came 2 weeks after I reported it.
Sincerely, Judith & Michael Fasching, Lenhartsville, PA