Council Meeting on Biosolids

The Metropolitan King County (WA) Council met in April for a thorough and informative briefing on the King County biosolids program.  The briefing was received well by councilmembers and has generated interest in the media, and by our elected officials, on the topic of biosolids.  The elected officials asked for follow-up information and there was interest in touring Boulder Park this spring. It was an great opportunity to highlight biosolids, what they are, and how they are used to benefit people and the environment.  You can view the briefing here (select agenda item 6 to skip to the biosolids briefing).  

PFAS Regulations

PFAS (per- and poly-fluorinated alkyl substances) are taking center stage across the country with local, state and national leaders calling for action on setting protective regulatory limits for PFAS chemicals present in the environment.   Measures are being taking to prohibit the use of PFAS chemicals.  Following are some resources to reference to inform you about PFAS developments:

  • Washington State - Washington State departments of Ecology and Health issued an Interim PFAS Chemical Action Plan in April 2018. With recommendations on reducing exposure and environmental releases.  Ecology and Health plan to continue their cross-agency initiative to continue to evaluate uses and impacts of PFAS chemicals, and release additional recommendations in 2019.  Northwest Biosolids will continue to track this effort, offer comments and share any developments.
  • North East - The North East Biosolids & Residuals Association (NEBRA) has been on the front lines of emerging regulations for PFAS and how this is impacting biosolids programs and wastewater utilities across their region. NEBRA has facilitated a national conference call on PFAS & Biosolids held ever other month.  The next call is Tuesday, May 29 at 10:30AM PST.   To join, Dial 605-475-5910, Enter code 73627367# (PFOAPFOS#), Screen-share: https://join.me/nebiosolids
  • National - National Leadership Summit U.S. EPA hosted a national PFAS summit in Washington DC May 22-23.  While biosolids and wastewater are not likely a focus, they may be mentioned.  Comments will be welcome following the summit. More details available at here. As reported in April's Biosolids eBulletin, Northwest Biosolids joined a collective of biosolids stakeholder groups across the nation in a letter addressed to Dave Ross, U.S. EPA Administrator of Water.  Read more details and preview the letter here.

EPA Release Biennial Review

EPA has published the 2013 and 2015 biennial reviews of the federal biosolids (sewage sludge) standards. The Clean Water Act requires EPA to review federal biosolids (sewage sludge) standards every two years to identify additional toxic pollutants that occur in biosolids and set regulations for those pollutants if sufficient scientific evidence shows they may harm human health or the environment. Based on the results of the reviews, EPA has not identified additional toxic pollutants in biosolids for regulation.   View the biennial biosolids reviews on EPA’s website. If you have any questions, please contact Liz Resek (resek.elizabeth@epa.gov or 202-566-1228).