EPA Requests Comments on Sewage Sludge Disposal Regulations

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is requesting public comment on the agency's preliminary review of regulations under the Clean Water Act governing the use and disposal of sewage sludge.

As part of this review, EPA commissioned the National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academy of Sciences to independently review the technical basis of the chemical and pathogen regulations applicable to sewage sludge that is applied to land. In July 2002, the NRC published a report entitled ``Biosolids Applied to Land: Advancing Standards and Practices'' in response to the EPA's request.

EPA also has devised a strategy explaining how EPA plans to respond to the recommendations in the NRC report.

In addition, EPA is announcing the preliminary results of its review of existing sewage sludge regulations under the Clean Water Act. At this time, EPA has not identified any additional toxic pollutants that warrant regulation in sewage sludge. The next step in identifying chemicals that may warrant regulation is to conduct a screening analysis of those chemicals for which adequate data and analytical methods are available and for which there is evidence that they may occur in sewage sludge. EPA plans to complete this screening analysis by January 2004.

If you wish to submit comments on this action, you must do so by July 8, 2003. Comments may be sent to Water Docket, Environmental Protection Agency, Mailcode: 4101T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460, Attention Docket ID No. OW-2003-0006. Comments also may be submitted electronically or through hand delivery/courier.

For further information, contact Arleen Plunkett, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Water, Health and Ecological Criteria Division (4304T), 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20460; (202) 566-1119; [email protected].

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

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