Since the EPA started promoting the “land application” of sewage sludge in 1993, millions of tons of this toxic biosludge have been spread on the farmland and public parks in our nation. It also sometimes makes its way to the organic compost and fertilizer section of your favorite garden supply store. What happens to it next? No one can say for sure because it is not tracked once it leaves the wastewater treatment plants and there is no national system for reporting problems related to it, but there is no doubt that is has the potential to cause significant harm given its contents.
One lawsuit from 2008 shows how pervasive this waste can be. In that case, a federal court acknowledged that sludge applications on a Georgia farm killed hundreds of dairy cattle and contaminated the supply of milk across several states. Federal Judge Anthony Alaimo said in his ruling that “senior EPA officials took extraordinary steps to quash scientific dissent and any questioning of EPA’s biosolids program.”