Sunday, November 15, 2015

Sludge permits go into the Pennsylvania sewer.

Environmental groups stopped Synagro Technologies from using sewage sludge as "fertilizer" in Pennsylvania farms.  The state oddly enough granted the permits to Synagro for this particular use of the sludge but then refused to dismissed the lawsuits.  Law360 reported:

A Synagro Technologies Inc. unit has dropped its bid to use sewage sludge as fertilizer on several eastern Pennsylvania farms, averting a trial after several environmental groups challenged the permits the company received from the state’s Department of Environmental Protection.

Synagro said in a Friday joint filing with the DEP that it no longer had the need to apply the sludge in question to the Potomac, Sunrise and Stone Church farms in Northampton County. The filing follows a July ruling from the state’s Environmental Hearing Board that denied the company’s bid to have the environmentalists’ challenges thrown out.

"Synagro’s withdrawal of its plan to dump sewage sludge and PA DEP’s declaration of its previous approval as null and void is a clear concession by PA DEP and Synagro that these sites and watersheds are not appropriate for sewage sludge dumping, and that PA DEP would not be able to defend its approval of the plan as being in compliance with the law," Maya van Rossum, the Delaware Riverkeeper, said in a statement Monday.

The Delaware Riverkeeper Network, Sludge Free Upper Mount Bethel Township and 10 residents had appealed permits granted in January 2014 by DEP to Synagro Mid-Atlantic that allowed the company to spread sewage sludge, or "biosolids," on three farms in Upper Mount Bethel Township owned by former Northampton County Councilman Ron Angle.

The environmentalists raised alarms about groundwater contamination, contamination of drinking water wells, polluted runoff entering the Allegheny Creek and damage to exceptional value wetlands and endangered species, particularly the blue-spotted salamander, which is designated as endangered in Pennsylvania.

They said the DEP did not properly consider possible water contamination when it granted the permits. Sewage sludge can contain contaminants ranging from "bacteria and heavy metals to pharmaceutical, steroidal and flame retardant compounds," according to their February 2014 appeal. Van Rossum emphasized on Monday that these allegations had been substantiated through discovery.

"Through the discovery process and the reports of expert witnesses, we established what we had stated in the appeal, which is that these sites are not suitable for Class B biosolids," she said.

According to Van Rossum, a trial in the case was scheduled to begin in the second week of January.... Rest of article.

Kingfish note: Could this type of problem happen here in Jackson regardless of who gets the sludge removal contract? Could Synagro or Denali have the necessary permits in Mississippi or Alabama but be estopped from using them if such environmental lawsuits are filed?


Socrates Garrett said...

This is a potential problem however the permits normally have wetland provisions to avoid contamination of streams. Synagro and Denali are large corporations that are involved in this industry across the United States. The problem in Jackson is all about petty politics. Garrett Enterprises has been hauling and incorporating this product for 20 plus years without a violation.

Just Wondering... said...

Mr. Garrett; Are you implying that 'large corporations' are unable to haul sludge as efficiently as a local, small business? Additionally, what do you haul it in, how are your trucks marked and where to you take it?

Anonymous said...

And Mr. Garrett, to add to the questions posed by 4:17, it appears that we the taxpayers are in the middle of a tussle between two semi-local black firms, providing services these 2 INTERNATIONAL firms supply a mater of course. Are you attesting that we the taxpayers are BENEFITTING from "minority participation" you and a alleged "transportation company", and saving us tax dollars, or is another example of minority gifting, which continues to be a bogus prerequisite for contracts we the TAXPAYERS fund.

Can both of your companies say, with a straight face, that Synagro and Denali NEED your partnership to operate? Do they have these same minority guidelines in say, Iowa?? Are you both saving US tax dollars.

Socrates Garrett said...

yes thank you for your question. It is often more cost effective for major companies and smaller companies to utilize local subcontractors.
The cost of mobilization and the cost of per diem for housing out of state employees is not always cost effective. I am currently performing a utility relocation project downtown Meredian and I utilize local subcontractors, mostly trucking companies because the 15 tractor trailers that i own were busy on other projects.

Anonymous said...

I am currently performing a utility relocation project downtown Meredian and I utilize local subcontractors, mostly trucking companies because the 15 tractor trailers that i own were busy on other projects.

That doesn't bolster your argument.

Anonymous said...

Are your local subcontractors, black, white or the best and most cost effective. I know your pat answer, but if a white Meridian subcontractor fits the needs, do you hire him, or a more expensive one, just because they are a black,,,,err minority??

Anonymous said...

The discussion here between Socrate and the questioners are much more appropriate to the situation in the current debate between the Honorable Mayor and his attempt to pay off his campaign contributors (i.e. Socratese) and the competing firm than the original post. The fact that in another state, the locale Environmental Protection Agency )similar to our MDEQ) provided a permit and an envornmental group protested - doesn't matter which company was involved - has absolutely nothing to do with our City's situation. JJ is just trying to stir the pot to get hits on his site.

What matters here is that the Mayor has tried to rig the bid to take care of his contributors - both in the final contract to get rid of the sh$$t that Socrates left from his previous 'minority subcontract' and to do it again under his new 'minority subcontract' with his new 'partner'.

This crap that the city of Jackson does with their requirement for 'minority participation' does nothing but fleece the pockets of a few black folks that require their being a partner in contracts that the City awards. We could save MILLIONS if this requirement was dropped - but the Mayor and his buddies on the Council couldn't pay off their friends and thus ensure that their campaign accounts were refilled. Time to put out real RFP's and award them to true low bidders - get rid of this payoff crap. And sorry socrates, this means that you have to get into a real business and provide a real service for a reasonable price.

Anonymous said...

JJ is just trying to stir the pot to get hits on his site.

Thanks for hitting JJ loser. Kingfish appreciate$$$ your patronage.

Now, get a clue.

Anonymous said...

What amazes me is this Socrates character actually answers questions and addresses people directly on this caustic but brutally honest (from time to time) site. That isn't courage, as this site should be beneath him. Can't imagine say, Bill Lampton, Bill Brown, Harry Walker, Ben Allen, Duane O'Neill, John McGowen, Haley Fisackerly, etc etc actually addressing you collective assholes.

Talk about lack of relativity. Mr. Garrett. Giving audience to anonymous pricks = losing effort. DUH.

Anonymous said...

It is no secret which self-righteous Jackson denizen is fond of using the term 'pricks' when he is unable to respond coherently to others who refuse to drink his kool-aid.

Just Wondering said...

I'm 'Just Wondering' at 4:17. With all due respect, you did not answer my questions but segwayed over into a Meredian (sic) deal. They were honest questions.

I'm interested in knowing how a 'small hauler', as you describe yourself, can provided a better value for the dollar, our dollar, than a larger or any other company.

I would also like to know your take, Mr. Garrett, on how and why you think minority participation in these contracts is needed, beneficial to the public, and adds value to the service provided.

Frankly and simply put, can you say that you believe your relationship and benefiting from minority participation contract requirements is anything more or less than a perk provided by a mandated 'quota' system? Those are not legal in things like college entrance and employment opportunities (we're told). Why should they be available in contracting situations?

Again, where does this offal-sludge wind up?

Anonymous said...

Just as Jeff Good posts on this site, and the antique lady just off Northside Dr., the above is the real Socrates.


Socrates - My concern is that Tony bid the contract as a "professional services" contract rather than a regular, open-the-envelope bid. Hauling "dirt" is not professional services, especially since Tony is hiring a Project Manager (with staff) to oversee permits, at considerable cost.

Same as moving concrete from plant to jobsite.

If Tony simply bid this as a regular contract, and not a "professional services" contract, this issue could be resolved in 45 days.

The practice of spreading human "dirt" on land is called honey dripping in Southeast Asia. (See Robert Plants band in the 1980's.) Honey dripping happens every night in SE Asia.

Kingfish said...

I didn't post this to stir things up. Just found the environmental lawsuit angle interesting. I post news from around the country all the time that is relating to things here in terms of topic or subject matter.

Anonymous said...


Unfortunately, our legislature decreed in its wisdom that waste disposal from treatment plants is a professional service.

The law very specifically allows consideration of price, experience, etc. in awarding this contract.

Seems like a law that should be changed.

Anonymous said...

Laws can not be passed fast enough to keep bad people from finding a way around them. Must elect and hire people that want to right.

A Fungus Amongus said...

8:29: Ben Allen and Duane O'neill address this forum on a regular basis. They just don't post their names and photographs. Ben also has a mini-me who totes his water on a regular basis as well as a small cadre of junior skinny-pants boys and girls who type from his weekly talking points.

So don't you be goin' round actin' like those two are too high and mighty to slum with the rest of us.

Bronx Sewer Cleaning said...

Glad to see environmentalists are stepping up to the bat to protect groundwater and the wetlands! All of that sewage has got to go.

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