Sludge News

Sludge Newsroom and Press Releases

University of Georgia Lawsuit

A lawsuit has been filed in the United States District Court involving a University of Georgia study, funded by EPA, based on false data -- data Circuit Court Judge Alaimo defined as being clearly "fudged," "fabricated," and "invented." (1) The EPA and University of Georgia then provided the false data to the National Academy of Sciences, which used it to support EPA’s 503 sludge regulations. (2)

On September 11, 2008, the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW) abruptly cancelled hearings on sewage sludge disposal practices, scheduled for that same day. The reason EPW gave for cancelling the hearing was a leaked, confidential settlement letter which involved two of the witnesses that were to have testified, Dr. David Lewis and Andy McElmurray. Both are involved in litigation with UGA.

F. Edwin Hallman, Jr., Lewis and McElmurray's lawyer in the UGA case, wrote the leaked letter. Attached here (see the pdf on the right-hand side of this page) is Attorney Hallman's explanation to the EPW. He also wrote a timeline of UGA involvement (see pdf on this page).

For the McElmurray ruling and other court documents related to the UGA case, scroll to the bottom of the article, “University faces lawsuit for research. Case could affect Univ.’s NBAF candidacy,” Joann Anderson, April 18, 2008.

(1). The false data was used in the published paper, “Long-Term Biosolids Application Effects on Metal Concentrations in Soil and Bermudagrass Forage,” Julia W. Gaskin, R. B. Brobst, W. P. Miller, and E. W. Tollner, J. Environ. Qual., January 1, 2003; 32(1): 146 — 152
(2). EPA promulgated Standards for the Use or Disposal of Sewage Sludge, 40 CFR part 503, under section 405(d) and (e) of the Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C. 1345(d), (e), as amended by the Water Quality Act of 1987.