Letter: Follow U.S. lead on biosolids

This past November in the U.S., the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) published a notice (https://www.epa.gov/office-inspector-general/report-epa-unable-assess-impact-hundreds-unregulated-pollutants-land) that it could no longer assure the public that land-applied biosolids were safe. The agency made this statement based on the acknowledgement that it does not know the risks involved with spreading hundreds of pollutants onto farm soils. It identifies 352 toxins found in biosolids as being of most concern.

BC (and indeed Canada) needs to make a similar statement – and for the same reason. Our government agencies equally lack data on these toxins, which, as the EPA states, “include pharmaceuticals, steroids and flame retardants.” Currently, only a dozen pollutants are tested for in these patches of toxic goulash that are trucked out of our cities and spread on our farms and forests.

How can our Ministry of the Environment make a claim of safety? They can’t.

B.C.is currently updating its guidelines around its Organic Matter Recycling Regulations. The new guidelines will still only insist on testing for a dozen pollutants – primarily metals. This is simply not sufficient to assure public health, or that of the environment. There are too many unknowns, and the risks are too high. Switzerland has completely banned the use of biosolids on agricultural soils because of the risk of irreversible damage to the soil, the danger to public health and possible negative effects on the quality of the food farmers produce.

Read more: Turtle Valley Bison Ranch owners speak on biosolids controversy

Read more: Letter: Arrow Transportation, Turtle Valley Bison Ranch respond to biosolids concerns

Read more: Letter: Writer argues biosolids will damage water, soil

We should be taking a similar stand, and using our toxic sewage waste as a source of energy, and a resource that can be mined for its nitrogen and phosphorus . It is time to take decisive steps to end land-applied sludge, and more immediately, the B.C. government and the Canadian government have a duty to follow the EPA lead here and make a similar public statement – They cannot assure the public that biosolids are safe.

Don Vincent

Just Posted

Lightning causes three wildfires east of Osoyoos

It is believed the fires started by a lightning storm

UPDATE: Second collision on Highway 1 west of Salmon Arm now clear

Emergency crews respond to motor-vehicle collision near Second Nations Road intersection

CSRD to seek public assent to borrow $1.77 million for park purchase

Formal opposition from 10 per cent of electors required to halt loan

Air ambulance called to Highway 1 crash near Tappen

The collision happened about 3:30 p.m. by James Road

Food trucks feed festivalgoers’ want for unique dining experience

Roots and Blues returns with variety of vendors, continues with recycle and compost program

Video: Crowd thrilled at S-Games in Sicamous

The celebration of two-wheeled transportation showed off daring athletes on all kinds of bikes.

Lightning causes three wildfires east of Osoyoos

It is believed the fires started by a lightning storm

Backhoe ‘burned to a crisp’ in South Okanagan

South Okanagan fire chief said the situation could have been a lot worse

Our history in pictures: The Ireland residence

According Salmon Arm Museum records, this image was taken in front of… Continue reading

VIDEO: Man found dead near B.C. teens’ truck could be linked to a double homicide

RCMP said they are looking for Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, of Port Alberni

Kelowna cab driver charged with sexual assault

RCMP received a report May 28 alleging a taxi passenger had been sexually assaulted by a cab driver

Letter: Make CSRD directors’ term limit subject to alternative approval process

Writer upset by regional district’s recent “money pit” proposals

Latest plan is to fly trapped fish by helicopter over Big Bar slide

Multi-pronged plan set in motion to freesalmon blocked by landslide in the Fraser River

Controversial anti-abortion film to be screened in the South Okanagan

Unplanned will be shown at the Penticton Landmark theatre

Most Read