Washington State Department of Ecology - July 3, 2013

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Biosolids topic of state forum in Ellensburg

YAKIMA – An informational forum on biosolids in Washington will be presented by the Department of Ecology (Ecology) from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on July 18 in Ellensburg.

The forum will be held in the Teanaway Room at the Hal Holmes Center, 209 N. Ruby St.

Presenters include biosolids experts Dr. Sally Brown from the University of Washington, Dr. Craig Cogger of Washington State University and Ecology soil scientist Peter Severtson.

The panel will discuss the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s risk assessment research conducted on biosolids during the last several decades. They will also present information on the state rule regulating biosolids as well as Washington State University research on biosolids applications, crops and soils.

“Our purpose is to provide a comprehensive overview of biosolids management,” Severtson explained. “We will provide a fundamental explanation of the state biosolids rule and how samples are collected and analyzed. This will address a number of issues, including how independent scientific labs function and are accredited.” 

Biosolids are a beneficial product of wastewater treatment made up primarily of organic material with some silt and sand. They contain essential plant nutrients and act as a slow-release fertilizer when applied to crop land.

Brown will lead the discussion on the risk assessment research. Cogger will discuss field research conducted on biosolids application sites, and their short- and long-term effects on soils and crop yield. Severtson will present information on the state’s biosolid rules.

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Media Contact: Joye Redfield-Wilder, 509-575-2610; cell, 509-961-6277; jred461@ecy.wa.gov

For more information:

More about biosolids (www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/swfa/biosolids/)

Ecology’s social media (www.ecy.wa.gov/about/newmedia.html)