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Home / BidBlog / Racine biosolids project up for bid, follows Greenville uproar

Racine biosolids project up for bid, follows Greenville uproar

By Jeff Moore

Biosolids Storage and Handling Contract for Racine Wastewater Utility

The Racine Wastewater Utility has a project due Jan. 27 for the hauling, storage and land spreading/disposal of about 12,000 tons of wastewater Class B biosolids on an annual basis.

Construction of a biosolids storage building in Racine County is needed to meet current DNR requirements of 180 days of biosolids storage.

Proposals will be evaluated based on price and other tangible benefits surrounding handling and beneficial reuse of the biosolids material in accordance with the state’s Department of Natural Resources regulations governing the materials.

It will be interesting to see if this project actually goes through after all of the problems the Neenah-Menahsa Sewerage Commission had with the proposed biosolids storage building/biosolid spreading on agricultural lands in Greenville, which was cancelled soon after a Rapid Health Impact Assessment report (PDF) was released in late October.

More than 1,000 residents signed a petition to stop the project. The report and petition was instigated after citizens learned of the project at a town meeting in late September.

The World Health Organization defines HIA as a “combination of procedures, methods and tools by which a policy, program or project may be judged as to its potential effects on the health of a population, and the distribution of those effects within the population.”

The purpose of the Health Impact Assessment for the proposed Greenville facility is to discuss the health impacts of a biosolids storage facility being proposed and to identify ways to decrease any adverse health impacts of the proposed biosolids storage facility.

The HIA prepared for Greenville was limited to looking at health issues most frequently cited in citizen forums (pathogens, chemicals, odor and groundwater contamination) due to the short time Outagamie County had to produce the report. Greenville homeowners expressed concerns about pathogens, toxic chemicals, decreased property values, smell and truck traffic, among other things.

If you live near the area of this proposed project, it may do you well to take a good look at the Greenville HIA and it may be an idea to request the same of Racine County if such a report for the proposed facility and area involved doesn’t already exist.

Click here to view from our JobTrac database.

Jeff Moore is a data reporter at The Daily Reporter. He can be reached at 414-225-1819.

One comment

  1. Because the Outagamie County Public Health Division had less than a month to come up with its Rapid Health Impact Assessment (RHIA), it relied heavily on EPA and industry-funded documents. Most readers do not know that EPA’s Office of Water has worked for decades with the biosolids industry promoting the agricultural use of this contaminated waste, and ignoring or silencing citizens and scientists who have reported and documented serious health problems after biosolids-exposure.
    A 2002 National Academy of Sciences report warned that the US sludge rules are based on flawed risk assessment models, out- dated science, or no science at all. Among the industry-funded papers referenced in the RHIA is one written by Ian Pepper and his co-authors at the University of Arizona Water Quality Center (WQC). Pepper chairs the WQC where industrial members each pay up to $90,000. for a three-year membership which entitles them to design and choose research projects that supports their businesses. Several waste water utilities, as well as Synagro Inc., the nation’s largest company in the biosolids business, are industrial WQC member.

    Greenville residents were fully justified to object to the biosolids storage and spreading plan in their neighborhood. Hopefully Racine County residents and officials will take the
    time to looks at recent unbiased biosolids research before making a decision. For more science-based information about the risks linked to using processed sewage sludge as fertilizer, visit http://www.sludgefacts.org

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