The Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF) has allocated $200,000 to move forward on the top-ranked research project identified at the recent Biosolids Research Summit. Methodology for Implementing a Rapid Incident Response Mechanism will aim to create a scientifically defensible method for responding to claims of adverse health effects from biosolids land application.
This project will begin to answer the National Research Council's call for a national rapid incident response network. The first step will be to work with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to gather a group of diverse stakeholders to draft a scope of work for an acceptable pilot project. The pilot project, a necessary first step, will determine how a full-scale project should be conducted.
"Although a full-scale project would require funding beyond what WERF can currently afford, we are committed to moving this high-priority project forward as best we can," said Glenn Reinhardt, executive director of WERF.
WERF is meeting with U.S. EPA to determine which of the 31 research projects identified at the summit are likely to be identified for funding by EPA, and which projects WERF is likely to fund in 2004 and beyond. WERF expects to fund $1.5 million per year in biosoilds-related research projects, as it has for the last several years.
Participants at the Biosolids Research Summit, held July 28-30 in Alexandria, Va., identified research needed to address concerns regarding land application of Class A and/or Class B treated sewage sludge/biosolids. A report from the summit will be available in late fall on the WERF website (www.werf.org ).
WERF is dedicated to advancing science and technology that addresses water quality issues as they impact water resources, the atmosphere, the land, and quality of life.