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Clean Water Current

NACWA Releases White Paper Reaffirming Importance of Biosolids Management Options

Jun 30, 2022

NACWA published a policy paper this week outlining the environmental and economic importance of maintaining all three well-regulated options for biosolids management – incineration, landfilling, and land application – even in the wake of concerns over per- and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) chemicals.

Responding to premature policy decisions such as the Maine legislature’s recent complete ban on sustainable land application practices, the paper makes the case that taking any single biosolids management option off the table absent scientific rigor and honest, comprehensive policy assessments will cause serious harm to local communities and could inadvertently cripple the ability of utilities to protect public health and the environment.

NACWA therefore calls on federal, state, and local governments to better examine PFAS-related risks and identify viable treatment and destruction technologies, source control practices, and alternative management options to avoid unduly hand-cuffing municipalities nationwide that must safely and sustainably manage biosolids as a necessary part of the modern wastewater treatment process.

Additional PFAS resources and materials for clean water utilities are available on NACWA's website.  NACWA is also developing a comprehensive cost analysis on the impacts of PFAS chemicals to the clean water community to be used in advocacy efforts, and is working to form a coalition of water and agricultural stakeholders to collectively engage on regulatory and legislative PFAS initiatives.

Please contact Nathan Gardner-Andrews, NACWA’s Chief Advocacy & Policy Officer, with any questions about this white paper or NACWA’s PFAS advocacy.

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