Clean Water Current

EPA Commits to Working with Municipalities, States in Effort to Maintain Current Biosolids Management Options

Aug 24, 2022

In an August 22, 2022, response to a June 14 NACWA letter raising concerns about the impact of PFAS regulations on biosolids management, EPA agreed with NACWA that it is important for the Agency to actively work with municipalities and states to look for approaches that are “designed to address PFAS in our biosolids and maintain the management options for biosolids that currently exist.”

While EPA did not directly respond to NACWA’s recommendation that EPA ensure sufficient resources and staff are dedicated to the biosolids program, EPA’s letter outlined the extensive efforts underway at the Agency to evaluate the need for regulatory limits for PFAS in biosolids and more broadly continue ongoing efforts to regularly evaluate the potential risks posed by contaminants in biosolids.

EPA’s letter pointed to efforts in Michigan that are addressing elevated levels of PFAS while also preserving current biosolids management options and committed to “develop resources for states and POTWs to implement actions” necessary to address PFAS in biosolids.

NACWA’s June 14 letter also requested that EPA issue a strong statement to its regional offices and states that it continues to support the biosolids program and suggested that EPA convene a stakeholder group, including municipalities and states, to “evaluate current disruptions in biosolids management…discuss innovative technologies and opportunities, the benefits and long-term trends of specific biosolids management options, and possible future threats for biosolids management.”

EPA’s response letter indicated that the Agency is considering convening such a group and NACWA will remain actively engaged with EPA on this issue going forward. Members with questions can contact Chris Hornback, NACWA’s Deputy CEO. 

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