Annual Conference Planning Committee
The Annual Conference Planning Committee plans and organizes the Northwest Biosolids Annual Biosolids Management Conference, known by many as "BioFest." Northwest Biosolids has held an annual conference since 1988 and recent years' conferences have attracted an average of 125 attendees. The conference has typically been held the weekend after Labor Day.
The Membership Committee was created in 2016 to evaluate and update the membership dues structure and lead member recruitment and retainment.
The committee will be gathering recent biosolids production totals from utility members that will help inform the new dues structure to be presented in 2017.
The Outreach Committee coordinates the Association's informational activities. The Committee promotes public education about biosolids management options, creates communication and education materials that translate the technical science commissioned by the Research Committee, and provides continuing education programs for members.
Recent achievements of this Committee include:
- Created an easy to understand, infographic based brochure that communicates the results of a risk analysis on pharmaceuticals and personal care products
- Published the monthly member spotlights for the Biosolids eBulletin newsletter, to highlight member achievements, program successes, and other interesting member stories.
- Participated in NW Biosolids new website design team and created content for the website
Future goals for the Information & Education Committee include coordinating a national effort to update the wikipedia page for biosolids and evaluating if a mentorship program would be useful to biosolids managers in the NW Biosolids network.
The Regulation Development Committee reviews federal, state and local regulations and comments on proposed regulations related to biosolids management. The committee fosters strong working relationships with regulators and strives to keep NW Biosolids members informed about regulation changes and guidance documents that may affect how agencies manage their biosolids.
In the past, the Committee has commented and/or encouraged member comment on federal, state, and local regulations and legislation relevant to biosolids.
The committee has also:
- Developed a Code of Good Practice for biosolids management
- Provided guidance on the development of a biosolids training manuals by universities
- Identified roles and responsibilities of federal, state and local regulatory agencies in biosolids regulation
Independent, scientific research is a core part of NW Biosolids. The Research and Demonstration Committee funds new research through the University of Washington, Washington State University, University of British Columbia, Oregon State University, the University of Idaho and the University of Arizona. University representatives conduct research on biosolids management and its effects on the environment, working closely with biosolids managers and regulators to develop science-based regulations, guidelines and best management practices. The Committee works on special projects and monitors this research being conducted on biosolids issues and alerts members to new developments contained in research findings. Committee members visit potential application sites at the request of NW Biosolids members to advise on environmental, public health, community relations and operations questions.
Recent achievements of this Committee include:
- Coordinated a risk analysis on trace organics from pharmaceuticals and personal care products, which was completed by the University of Washington and Kennedy/Jenks
- Published NW Biosolids Research Summaries and Stories
- Hosted webinars and workshops related to research projects, such as a webinar on the trace organics risk analysis
- Given presentations and answered technical questions from members and the public
In the past, the Committee has:
- Generated literature reviews on environmental, human health, and other topics related to biosolids management
- Created regional biosolids demonstration sites, where the positive effects of biosolids as a fertilizer and soil conditioner can be seen
- Formed Interest Groups to address research issues related to Forested Watersheds, Poplars, Rangeland, Soil Quality and Nitrogen
- Developed fact sheets on research and demonstration projects
- Co-sponsored an international forest symposium: The Forest Alternative: Principles and Practice of Residuals Use, July 14-16, 1997, at the University of Washington
- Organized two Research Days discussing the state of biosolids research in the Pacific Northwest
- Developed biosolids management guidelines for the Pacific Northwest