September 7, 2008
Dear Senator Boxer,
First, I would like to thank you and the other members of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee for holding hearings on the sludge issue. I will try to be brief, as I know that many others have communicated with you regarding their concerns surrounding the land application of sludge on agricultural and forestlands. I would not be writing you if there were legitimate science-based data supporting stating without reservation that sludge is safe but that is not the case.
Sadly the EPA has betrayed the public trust by promoting a product known to have health and safety issues associated with it and then, for all intents and purposes, not taking any responsibility for correcting the problem. No amount of testing will make sludge safe and it is disingenuous for the EPA, the waste management industry, local health departments and other promoters of sludge to continue stating that it is safe.
There are other viable options for the proper disposal of sludge and even if there were not, land application should never be considered as an option. I have yet to receive a logical explanation as to why a wastewater treatment plant would extract many of the most dangerous pollutants from the waste stream so as not to pollute our drinking water, and then turn around and introduce them into our food chain.
Others and I ask you and the committee members to stop the madness. Please do not fund any further research by EPA or WERF, the outcome is know before the first test is ever conducted. It is well past the time for closer examination of sludge research conducted by independent scientists.
Again, I thank you for taking time for examining this issue.
Khalil Hassan, Madison, VA 22727