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Clean Water Current

NACWA Asks USDA to Ensure Continued Support for Biosolids

Jul 20, 2022

In comments submitted on July 15, NACWA asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service to ensure continued support for, and access to, biosolids by the nation’s farmers to meet fertilizer supply chain demands. The comments also urged close engagement between USDA and U.S. EPA to address farmer questions regarding the safe land application of biosolids.  

USDA’s request for comment, entitled Access to Fertilizer: Competition and Supply Chain Concerns, comes in response to concerns from the ag community about an ongoing supply chain crunch within the fertilizer market. While much of the manufactured fertilizer market is dependent on materials produced outside of the United States, biosolids are a domestically produced alternative that are generated 24 hours a day, 7 days a week as residuals of municipal wastewater treatment and are tightly regulated by U.S. EPA. 

As USDA considers opportunities to expand fertilizer capacity, including whether there are existing processes that might be leveraged and expanded to better meet our nation’s fertilizer needs, NACWA urges collaboration with U.S. EPA to further support and promote access to biosolids as a meaningful tool. 

These comments further NACWA’s efforts to demonstrate the need for maintaining access to all effective options for managing biosolids. For more information about recent efforts taken by NACWA to promote, protect, and reaffirm the importance of biosolids management options, click here and here.  

NACWA members with questions about this issue can contact Tony Frye, NACWA’s Director of Legislative Affairs.  

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