E. coli risks - officials fear contamination of water supplies - ABATTOIR?

From: Helane Shields (
Sent: Sun 3/09/08 5:25 PM
hi, Pa. folks - see article below where PA DEP stopped Synagro in January 2007
from spreading slaughterhouse wastes in PA -- what has changed since then ??
"Therefore, it will be regulated as a waste product until the DEP receives
enough information to declare it a co-product, according to Ron Furlan, a
state environmental program manager.
Under that designation, the DEP can regulate the odors created by the "gut manure."

----- Original Message ----- From: "Maureen Reilly"
Sent: Wednesday, January 03, 2007 9:56 PM
Subject: Sludge Watch ==> Pennsylvania farmer ordered to stop
using sludge/food/slaugherhouse 'fertilizer'

Farmer ordered to stop using refuse for fertilizer By:Bradley Schlegel 12/28/2006
Boyertown Area Times , Pennsylvania

A state regulatory body has suspended Daniel Hunsicker's use of waste from a
slaughterhouse as fertilizer on his farm in Douglass (Mont.) Township.
The Department of Enviornmental Protection (DEP) ruled that the
material-which doesn't meet the standards of a recycled replacement
product-can't be spread on or trucked to the farm, which covers more than
100 acres along Congo-Niantic Road.

In a letter dated Dec. 13, the DEP stated that SYNAGRO's submission failed
to demonstrate that the material-a combination of cow manure, undigested
food and reprocessed water-is "physically and chemically equialvent to a
commercial product, i.e. fertilizer."

Therefore, it will be regulated as a waste product until the DEP receives
enough information to declare it a co-product, according to Ron Furlan, a
state environmental program manager.
Under that designation, the DEP can regulate the odors created by the "gut

"We're very pleased with the decision," said township Supervisors Chairman
Greg Lignelli. "It's a step in the right direction towards solving this
Residents began complaining about a foul smell and excess truck traffic six
months ago. At a special meeting in November, resident Jim McGlory called it
the "smell of death."

This summer, Moyer Packaging Company, a slaughterhouse near Souderton, began
paying Hunsicker to accept its waste, which the farmer spread on his field
as fertilizer.

According to the letter, SYNAGRO can't spread the material on the farm until
it submits a plan that establishes it as a co-product, which is recycled to
replace another or comply with the requirements for residual waste.
Under the residual regulations, SYNAGRO must submit an updated mineral plan
and receive approval of their updated farm management program.
Furlan said SYNAGRO has not contacted the DEP since the determination.
However, Lignelli isn't sure what damage the material could cause to
residents or the local water supply.
A spokesman from state Sen. John Rafferty's office told Lignelli that
representatives from local politicians will meet in January to discuss the
The supervisors will host a public meeting Jan. 23 at the Gilbertsville Fire
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3/9/2008 SO HERE WE ARE IN MARCH 2008

excerpt from earlier article this week:
"We looked at the piles and found them full of maggots," said Dennis Petrie.
"Our eyes were burning," said Forsline. "This stuff I saw is like nothing I've ever seen on a farm."
Last Update: 3/9/2008 8:01:00 AM
Slaughterhouse residue and sewer sludge near wells worries Kutztown officials
The waste is spread on a farm near the borough’s water supply.
By Michelle Park
Reading Eagle
Kutztown, PA -
Kutztown officials are concerned that sewage sludge and slaughterhouse waste being spread on a farm
in Maxatawny Township could contaminate the borough’s water supply.

The farm off Kohler Road is about 1,000 feet from wells that supply water to about 20,000 people.
Kutztown Manager Jaymes A. Vettraino said that if contamination were to occur,
he’s confident the water could be properly treated for distribution.
But the water supply could be disrupted or limited if, for example, a well had to be shut down temporarily.
No contamination has been detected, Vettraino said.
“This is not something that they (Kutztown water customers) should be immediately concerned about,”
Vettraino said.
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection requires that biosolids such as sewage sludge
and slaughterhouse waste not be spread within 300 feet of a water source, DEP spokesman John M. Repetz said.

Repetz said the DEP inspected the site and found no violations.
Zimmerman?s wife declined comment Saturday.
Theirs is one of three adjoining family farms where biosolids are being spread,
said Ammon Zimmerman Sr., who owns one of the farms. The other two are off Kutztown Road.
As a result of the public outcry, the family is considering putting a halt to the spreading,
even though the materials are provided at no cost and are very beneficial for their corn crop,
the elder Zimmerman said.
?It?s not right they (city people) come out of town and build themselves a home and
then they complain about the smell of the farms,? he said.
?They?re making a fuss about it, and it?s all legal.?

***************************************************************** SEE QUOTE BELOW ON E. COLI RISKS FROM SPREADING SLAUGHTERHOUSE
(and other pathogenic, organic) WASTES ON LAND
(note from HS - potential pathways of risk include leaching to groundwater,
filthy flies (piles of maggots on the wastes), birds, wildlife and
FAMILY PETS carrying the pathogens on their fur and feet . . . .. . )
Journal of Applied Microbiology 2005, 98, 814?822

Verocytotoxin producing Escherichia coli O157 (VTEC) was
first recognized as being a virulent human pathogen and
serious threat to public health in 1982 (Riley et al. 1983).
"Application of these untreated and potentially contaminated wastes to land
may pose a significant health threat in terms of farm animal infection and
dispersal into the wider environment.
There is an obvious risk of VTEC infection arising from contamination of fruit
and vegetable crops grown in soil to which abattoir waste, slurry or untreated
sewage sludge has been applied, especially where the food products
e.g. salad vegetables) are consumed with minimal processing.

In addition, dissemination of the organism throughout the environment via birds
(Wallace et al.1997), runoff to surface water and leaching into groundwater
is also of concern (Ogden et al. 2001).

Furthermore, there are few reports upon the extent to which re-growth of
E. coliO157:H7 could occur in previously treated wastes."
"The public health risk associated with VTEC in wastes spread to land can be expected
to be dependent both upon its ability to survive in wastes prior to landspreading and
within the soil/vegetation after application.
Both introduced pathogenic and non-pathogenic E. coli strains have been shown to persist
in some soils and animal wastes for considerable periods of time (Kudva et al. 1998;
Bolton et al. 1999; Fukushima et al. 1999; Maule 1999; Lau and Ingham 2001;
Hepburn et al. 2002). "
Slaughter house wastes used for "fertilizer" - infectious human and animal prions
in both Class B AND CLASS A sewage sludge - LINK

BLO fecit 20080223 - PA Sludge index