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.
Eight years ago, in 1995, PR Watch broke the stunning story of how the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) promoted the use of toxic sewage sludge as cheap farm fertilizer . The major media failed to report the story. This EPA scandal became a long chapter in our 1995 book Toxic Sludge Is Good for You, documenting the deceptive EPA PR campaign.
Seven years ago our book, Toxic Sludge Is Good For You, broke the story of how the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was disposing of toxic sewage sludge by calling it "biosolids, a natural organic fertilizer," and allowing it to be dumped on farmland across the US. Today 70% of the nation's toxic sewage sludge is spread on cropland, a major environmental scandal and a threat to public health.
Trade publication PR Week reports that critical news stories have caused the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) to pull a $3-million PR plan that "would have gathered community input for its long-range planning process." The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's reporting on MMSD's PR spending led city commissioners to question the cost and details of the PR plan. According to the Journal Sentinel, MMSD's "budget for publicity and lobbying ranks fifth overall -- second among similar-sized systems -- and No.
In Toxic Sludge Is Good For You, we wrote about efforts by the Environmental Protection Agency and sewage treatment plants to enhance the image of sewage sludge by renaming it as "biosolids" so that it can be "beneficially used" as fertilizer. Now the EPA's own Office of Inspector General (OIG) has officially released a report on EPA's sewage sludge rule.
Synagro company has paid money in a wrongful death lawsuit, the first known payment to alleged victims of sewage sludge-induced sicknesses. However, important information in the case has not been made public, and the National Whistleblower Center has requested that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency obtain the settlement agreement.
Seattle Times reporter Duff Wilson was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for his investigative series, Fear in the Fields--How Hazardous Wastes Become Fertilizer, which found that, across the United States, industrial wastes laden with heavy metals and other dangerous materials are being used in fertilizers and spread over farmland.
In Toxic Sludge Is Good For You, we reported on the Environmental Protection Agency's PR campaign to rename sewage sludge as "biosolids" and use it as fertilizer. Now the Washington Post is finally reporting that there might be some problems with the practice. This story mentions complaints from people such as James Lear of Virginia, who woke up one morning last fall covered head to foot with mysterious boils that his doctor said might be connected to airborne bacteria from the treated sewage used as fertilizer on a nearby pasture.