The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has denied a petition from 73 labor, environment and farm groups calling for an immediate moratorium on land-based uses of sewage sludge - a practice that we exposed in our 1994 book, Toxic Sludge Is Good For You. "The rejection of the petition followed an announcement by the agency in October, after five years of analysis and study, that it would not regulate dioxins in land-applied sludge," reports the Associated Press. "Dioxins are a class of organic chemicals that EPA studies show pose a possible cancer risk in humans, but the agency said in its October statement that the danger was minimal. The latest announcements by the EPA come a year and a half after a panel of the National Research Council, in a review the agency had asked for, criticized what the council described as outdated science in the agency's assessment of health risks from treated sludge used as fertilizer." Just to show it isn't completely irresponsible, though, the EPA promises to study the problem further and someday may regulate 15 other toxic chemicals in sludge that currently aren't on its watch list. Meanwhile the sludge wars continue at the local level, with communities in Texas and Louisiana fighting unbearable odors, groundwater contamination, and toxic pathogens from sludge, while in Georgia, sludge critics are dismissed as "a lot of kooks."