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NACWA Releases White Paper on Critical Need to Maintain Biosolids Management Options

Jun 29, 2022

NACWA has developed a policy paper outlining the importance to clean water utilities 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 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’s white paper 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 so as to avoid unduly hand-cuffing municipalities nationwide that must safely and sustainably manage biosolids as a necessary part of the modern wastewater treatment process.   

The paper is intended to be used by NACWA’s members as they face questions from regulators, the press, and their ratepayers about the potential risks of PFAS in biosolids.  Additional resources are available on NACWA's PFAS web page.

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 working to form a coalition of water and agricultural passive receivers of PFAS chemicals 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 about NACWA’s PFAS advocacy. As NACWA continues to develop PFAS resources and outreach materials, we welcome suggestions concerning additional resources that could be useful to clean water utilities as they work to address mounting public concerns regarding PFAS chemicals.        

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