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Goochland Debates Safety of Biosolids

AP File Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

The safety of biosolids is again up for debate as two companies seek permits to spread sludge from sewage treatment plants over farmland in Goochland County.   

Cheryl  Ellison is one of those who plans to attend a meeting sponsored by the Department of Environmental Quality at the Goochland Library tonight.

“It’s over 1700 acres, and one of them backs up to my land and my neighbors’ land.”  

Proponents say the sludge is treated to eliminate any risks to public health, and with proper precautions, they argue biosolids can safely fertilize farmland at no cost to farmers, but Ellison is concerned about water pollution.

“The land they’re going to put it in is on top of a hill, and the pond is below it, so I’m worried about the water, how it’s going to affect our wells, how it’s going to affect our health.”  

Residents of other areas where biosolids have been used complain about the smell, and they blame the sludge for respiratory illnesses developed by those who inhale dust from the fertilized sites.

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