Title:  "A CAVEAT FOR FARMERS"


Sent: Thursday, March 20, 2008 5:47 PM
Subject:
Virginia Farm Bureau promotes sludge spreading but denies farm insurance coverage for viruses,
bacteria, microorganisms that cause disease


Virginia Farm Bureau Federation -   

"This endorsement specifically states that loss, cost, or expense ~
caused by, resulting from, or relating to any virus, bacterium, or
other microorganism that causes disease, illness, or physical
distress or that is capable of causing disease, illness, or physical
distress is not covered under your policy."


Sent: Thursday, March 20, 2008 4:03 PM
Subject: Virginia Farm Bureau promotes sludge spreading but denies farm insurance coverage for viruses, bacteria,
microorganisms that cause disease


VIRGINIA FARM BUREAU FEDERATION

http://www.vafb.com/news/2002/jan/010402_1.htm

Other priorities for Farm Bureau include re-established funding for the Virginia Foundation for Agriculture in the
Classroom, and funding for the Dairy Center and Livestock Teaching Arena at Virginia Tech. The organization also
supports continued use of biosolids as a source of nutrients on farmland.

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CANADA – INSURERS SAY SLUDGE SPREADING IS “ENVIRONMENTAL RISK”



http://www.safewatergroup.org/Stories/sludge_concerns_continue.htm#anchor1


Insurer Refuses to Assume Sludge Risk

Wellington Times, Aug. 25/04

Bay of Quinte Mutual Insurance Company is among a growing number of insurance companies that are refusing to
cover risks associated with spreading sludge on farm fields.

Jeff Howell, the branch’s general manager, said while they have no qualms with farmers spreading animal manure onto
fields, human feces is another story. “When they’re having something foreign brought into it, that’s totally different.”

“It has to do with what our reinsurance will allow,” Howell explained. “It’s an environmental risk”

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MARYLAND:   University of Maryland:

http://www.agnr.umd.edu/MCE/Publications/Publication.cfm?ID=226&cat=D

EXCERPTS

Sewage sludge is the waste product collected from municipal sewers. It is a mixture of human, commercial and
industrial wastes.

Safety is a major concern because sewage sludge may contain heavy metals such as copper, lead, chromium and
cadmium. If sewage sludge is applied to the soil in excessive amounts over a number of years, unusable crops, injured
or dead plants and heavy metal pollution of rainfall run off may result.

. "However, the liability (of the sludge company)  is limited to fulfilling the needs of the permit and is in effect only
during the term of the permit. Any additional or long-term liability for future physical or environmental damage on the
part of the landowner or sewage sludge user remains undefined."



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Could the following  cases be why insurers are getting leery of providing indemnity against sludge pollution:

FARMERS WHOSE DAIRY COWS AND LAND WERE DESTROYED BY AUGUSTA, GEORGIA, SEWAGE SLUDGE
ARE COMPENSATED BY CITY'S INSURANCE COMPANIES .
. . .

http://chronicle.augusta.com/stories/092007/met_144446.shtml


Settlement ends suit over sludge Insurers will pay family, take care of legal fees

By Sandy Hodson| Staff Writer

Thursday, September 20, 2007

1 commentPRINTEMAIL


“Lloyds of London, National Union Insurance Co., Coregis Insurance Co. and St. Paul Insurance Co. agreed to pay
$1.3 million for the cost of defending the city in the Boyce lawsuit. The companies will pay the McElmurray family $1.5
million to settle their case.”

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Missouri Court of Appeals, Southern District  Case Number: 22675

MISSOURI - another dairy farm destroyed by sewage sludge . . .

http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=mo&vol=/appeals/081999/&invol=180810_99

[This lawsuit was a fight over whether or not the City of Sparta, Missouri, has insurance coverage for the damage their
sludge did to Ed Roller's dairy farm - the critical point here is that the City admitted liability and agreed to pay  Ed
Roller compensation because its sewage sludge did kill his cows and damage his dairy farm.)

The court found:   "3. The sludge contained "substances and compounds, toxic to humans and animals, i.e., fluoride,
cadmium, lead, mercury, iron, arsenic, aluminum, selenium and molybdenum." Said substances and compounds
migrated from Bradens' land to Rollers' farm, causing damage including diminished milk production, death of cows and
loss of breeding opportunity. "

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MICHIGAN - AUGUST 2003

http://www.detnews.com/2003/metro/0308/13/b07d-243408.htm

Nitrates pollute water in 2 counties        Industrial byproduct suspected of leaking into Manistee, Mason
wells

"Because its origin typically lies in sewage disposal systems, runoff from barnyards, fertilized fields, and industrial
waste, nitrates also can indicate the presence of other contaminants. "

"In 1999, former Filer Township residents Stephen and Cindy McLintock discovered nitrate levels almost three times
above the DEQ's allowable level as they tried to sell their house.
Her family sued the cardboard mill and a tree farm across the street from their house for the premature death of her
baby, which they blamed on nitrates in the water from over application of the sludge.

The case was settled out of court last year, but it prompted further testing at former sludge dump sites.




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POLICY OF THE NATIONAL FARMERS UNION - ENACTED BY DELEGATES TO THE 101ST ANNIVERSARY
CONVENTION, ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 28 - MARCH 3, 2003

http://nfu.org/documents/policy/2003_nfu_policy.pdf

quote on page 64

National Farmers Union Opposes Class B sewage sludge

At its March 2003  Annual Convention the Delegates of the National Farmers Union enacted a 112-page Policy.  On
page 64 the policy states:

The current practices of disposing hazardous wastes in existing landfills and surface mine sites, spreading hazardous
wastes and Class B biosolids on land surfaces, and injecting hazardous wastes in deep-well sites should be
discontinued.



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http://www.indynews.ca/article.php?id=2281

Week of August 7, 2008   THE INDEPENDENT - SERVING BRIGHTON AND EAST NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY,
ONTARIO, CANADA

[COWS LIVESTOCK - COWS EAT DIRT - HORMONE DISRUPTING CHEMICALS INTERFERE WITH BREEDING ?? ]

But while biosolids are fine for his crops, he is not so sure about vegetables. He thinks it could be
bad for business. “If I had a vegetable stand, I wouldn’t be selling it because of the image.”

People recoil at the thought of eating food grown in their own feces, regardless of how it might have been treated.
That perception helps fuel the division within the agricultural community on the merits of sludge.
While some farmers
like Mr. Buurma can’t get enough of the stuff, others are reluctant because of public opposition and
concerns about safety and liability.

The Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario [ http://www.efao.ca/ ] recently passed a resolution
urging a moratorium on spreading sludge and for more research to determine its long-term
effects. The organization is concerned harmful chemicals and pathogens in biosolids are
contaminating the food chain. While a number of farmers believe sludge has made their livestock
ill, the evidence is largely anecdotal. But some argue the uncertainty is enough to raise questions
about its use.  

Fred Price used biosolids on his farm near Hanover more than 10 years ago. After feeding his 100
head of beef cattle hay grown on sludge-treated land, only half the usual number of cows became
pregnant, he says.

“You couldn’t find anything wrong with them but once we quit spreading sludge and once they
went onto pasture in the spring, they were breeding again.”

Price suspects the cause was hormones found in birth control drugs finding their way into the
land through the sludge. He says three other farmers experienced similar problems. His farm is
now sludge-free. “I sure don’t want it any more. I’m always looking for cheaper ways to get
fertilizer but it ended up costing a lot.”

Donald Good is an Ottawa lawyer who has spent years warning farmers about the inherent risk of using material
“contaminated with human diseases.”

“Never adopt a practice that undermines the confidence of consumers in the safety of food you produce,” he advises.
“The application of sewage sludge to farmland does just that.”

Also see:
How biosolids get from our toilets to crops
http://www.indynews.ca/article.php?id=2280
Farm Insurance policy pdf
A CAVEAT  FOR  FARMERS.doc
additional information