September 12, 2008
Senator Barbara Boxer, Chair U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works
Dear Senator Boxer:
New Jersey Conservation Foundation is a nearly 50-year old statewide non profit organization dedicated to preserving land and natural resources. We are writing to urge the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works to issue a moratorium on the dumping of hazardous sewage sludge on preserved farmland or any other state lands.
While some progress has been made in cleaning up this material, sewage sludge is still tainted with heavy metals, unregulated industrial chemicals (PCBs, dioxin, PDBEs) and radionuclides. Spreading it on preserved farms or other state lands is not supportable from an environmental or public health perspective, nor is it publicly acceptable.
Many farmers are wary of long-term cumulative impacts and short-term odor problems. The potential risks of the use of sewage sludge on public lands far outweigh any benefits. A moratorium on this use would go a long way toward ensuring the public’s health and safety.
Thank you for your consideration of our comments. If you have any questions, please contact me at 908-234-1225.
Sincerely, Alison Mitchell
Policy Director New Jersey Conservation Foundation
Bamboo Brook 170 Longview Road Far Hills, NJ 07931