TOXICS IN SLUDGE - BIOSOLIDS
GO TO THIS WEB PAGE http://www.epa.gov/triexplorer/chemicaltransfer.htm
select TRANSFERS TO POTWs Metals and non metals
EPA Toxics Release Inventory - 2006
Waste Transfer: Chemical Report to POTWs
(publicly owned sewage treatment works)
Data source: 2006 Data Update Select 2006 PDR data set (frozen on October 12, 2007 and released to the
public on February 21, 2008)
255,060,784 pounds of Non-metals – hazardous industrial chemicals to POTWs (down from 262,904,056
pounds in 2005)
1,735,360 - pounds of toxic Metals and metal compounds to POTWs (up from 1,735,360 pounds in 2005
Dioxin & Dioxin like compounds to POTWs 168.886 pounds (up from 99.9313 pounds in 2005)
Note that in the table above, asterisks are shown to indicate that data for Dioxin and Dioxin-like
compounds in grams (as required by EPA) was reported by the facility. EPA has converted these
data into pounds and included them in the table totals (in pounds). Please refer to the Dioxin and
Dioxin-like compounds table below for reported amounts of Dioxin and Dioxin-like compounds
in grams. Grams can be converted to pounds by multiplying by 0.002205.)
Toxic Pollution of America's Waters
Under existing federal pollution control laws, the American people are
kept in the dark about the vast majority of toxic pollution spewed
into the environment by U.S. industry. Even the most comprehensive
toxic pollution reporting system in the nation, the Toxics Release Inventory
(TRI), accounts for only about 5 percent of all toxic pollution of the
environment each year (GAO 1991, EPA 1996c).
Thus, if 255 million pounds = 5% - then 100% of hazardous
chemicals discharged to POTWs in 2006 would be over 5.1 BILLION POUNDS . . . . .
If 2.7 million pounds = 5% of toxic metals -- then 100% of toxic
metals discharged to POTWs in 2006 would be over 54 million pounds . . . .
NOTE - THERE ARE ONLY 519 CHEMICALS ON THIS EPA TRI LIST OF CHEMICALs (including both metals and
non-metals) MONITORED FOR DISCHARGES to POTWS
a tiny fraction of the over 93,000 chemicals EPA acknowledges
are in commerce today . . . . .
"Poly brominated biphenyls" are listed as "0" . . . and there is no
listing for polybrominated diphenyl ethers - (brominated flame retardants ). . . .
which Dr. Rob Hale has found in significant levels in sludge . . . . .
NOTE - Subject: EPA 15 ADDITIONAL CHEMICALS IN SLUDGE CONSIDERED FOR REGULATION
The EPA's decision to consider regulating additional chemicals — also announced
Dec. 31 — was included in its response to a National Academy of Sciences
panel that concluded in 2002 that the EPA needed to do more to ensure
that farm workers and nearby residents are adequately protected.
An EPA analysis found 15 chemicals that could potentially pose unacceptable
risks: acetone, anthracene, barium, beryllium, carbon disulfide, 4-chloroaniline, diazinon, fluoranthene,
manganese, methyl ethyl ketone, nitrate, nitrite, phenol, pyrene and silver.
Let’s compare EPA’s list of 15 chemicals in sludge which may need more regulations – with the EPAs list of
514 chemicals monitored by Toxics Release Inventory for discharge to POTWs:
Acetone – not on EPAs list for monitoring
Anthracene – only 113 pounds listed as being discharged into POTWs
for whole country
Barium – “0” pounds listed as being discharged into POTWs
Beryllium – “0” pounds listed as being discharged to POTWs
Carbon disulfide – 167,724 pounds discharged to POTWs
4-Chloroaniline – only 2085 pounds listed to POTWs for whole country
Diazinon – Only 5 pounds to POTWs for whole country
Fluoranthene – NOT on EPA’s list for monitoring
Methyl Ethyl Ketone (2-Butanone) – NOT on EPA’s list for monitoring
Nitrate – over 132 million pounds discharged to POTWs
Nitrite (sodium nitrite?) – over 1.9 million pounds discharged to POTWs
Phenol – over 1.3 million pounds discharged to POTWs
Pyrene – NOT on EPA’s list for monitoring
Silver – “0” pounds listed as discharged to POTWs
Antimony – another problem metal “0” pounds listed as discharged to POTWs
THOUSANDS of businesses are allowed to file “Form As” which exempt them from reporting toxic
“SECTION 3. CERTIFICATION (Important: Read and sign after completing all form sections.)
I hereby certify that to the best of my knowledge and belief, for each toxic chemical listed in the statement,
the annual reportable amount as defined in 40 CFR
372.27 (a), did not exceed 500 pounds for this reporting year and that the chemical was manufactured,
processed, or otherwise used in an amount not exceeding 1
million pounds during this reporting year. “
AND FEDERAL LAW permits every business and industry in the United States to dump 33 pounds of
hazardous wastes into public sewers every month with no reporting requirements [ 40CFR 403.12)P)(2) ]
and this same law provides for only a one time reporting if acutely hazardous wastes, or more than 33
pounds of hazardous wastes, are dumped into the public sewers;
None of the toxic pollutants excluded from reporting by Form A and excluded from reporting by the “33
pound” federal law, are included in the Toxics Release Inventory.
Also missing from US EPA’s Toxics Release Inventory of chemical discharges to public sewers (and air, land
and surface waters), are the vast majority of HPVs – High production volume chemicals in US commerce
today . . .
High production volume chemicals have annual production and/or importation volumes above 1 million
pounds. In the U.S., about 3,300 chemicals (excluding polymers) out of approximately 70,000 chemicals in
commerce are used in such substantial quantities. While there are no authoritative estimates of the amount
of total chemical use in the U.S., 4.4 to 7.1 trillion pounds of HPV chemicals are produced/imported annually.
And the US EPA does not require any testing for the drugs and pharmaceuticals which are showing up
around the country in drinking water and surface waters from sewage. The wastewater treatment process
partitions the drugs and pharmaceuticals between the sewage effluent discharged to surface waters and
the sewage sludge “biosolids” spread on land.