Michigan DEQ says biosolids are safe for land application
To the Editor:
I am writing in regards to the new reports concerning land application of sewage sludge (biosolids) and the recent attempts by Goodland Township to restrict the land application of biosolids within the township.
For over 30 years Michigan has had regulations that controlled land application of biosolids, enforced by the Department of Natural Resources, Department of Environmental Quality and now the Department of Natural Resources and Enviroment (DNRE).
To my knowledge, there has never been a problem to human health, the environment or to a farmer's property in Michigan related to the use of biosolids. As long as I've been involved, I've seen the state both regulate and promote the safe use of biosolids on farm land as a nutriend source for crops.
A lot of research has been done by the Environmental Protection Agency and universities such as Michigan State. Last year, Michigan State University researchers were investigating the effects of biosolids applied on my farmland in Goodland Township and they found nothing.
I think that properly managed, biosolids can provide a safe and effective source of nitrogen and phosphorous to a crop. There are only two other available methods of biosolids handling: incineration and landfilling, and neither of these recycles the nutrients in the biosolids for cropland.
The biosolids that are land applied in our area are from local sources like Lapeer, Imlay City and Romeo and have been treated to reduce disease-causing bacteria. They are not trucked in from other states or far away places.
Biosolids are more regulated by the state than fertilizer or animal manure. I don't think additional regulation by the township is needed to protect anyone's health or the environment.
Farming decisions are not based solely on what is good for the current generation but consideration is given to what will ensure success for generations to come.