WERF Biosolids Research Summit

Participants in the upcoming Biosolids Research Summit, co-sponsored by the Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), represent a diverse range of views and technical expertise regarding the land application of biosolids.

The national summit, scheduled for July 28?30, 2003, at the Hilton Alexandria Old Town in Alexandria, Va., will provide a forum for the free and open exchange of views on how scientific research can best address the concerns and interests of stakeholders regarding land application of Class A and/or Class B treated sewage sludge/biosolids.

The summit's program committee has invited more than 50 individuals to join it at the summit. Participants include private citizens affected by land application, farmers who use biosolids as a soil amendment and farmers opposed to biosolids use. Attendees will represent various EPA offices and federal government agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, as well as state agencies such as the departments of environmental protection of New Jersey, New Hampshire, and Florida. Participants will include a public health expert, a medical toxicologist, and pathogen experts. Individuals from local and county governments in areas dealing with biosolids issues will also participate, including the mayor of a community in which land application has become a controversial municipal issue.

Biosolids management companies, water and wastewater utilities, consulting firms and other technical service providers will also be represented. Environmental organizations participating will include the Association for Science in the Public Interest and the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, which provides assistance to citizen groups and other non-governmental organizations on environmental matters.

Because the summit will focus on research, an array of technical experts on all issues related to treated sewage sludge/biosolids will participate. These experts include researchers and academics who will share their expertise on issues including soils, chemistry, toxicology, epidemiology, microbiology, water and wastewater treatment, pollutants, engineering, disinfection, and pathogens.

For a list of those participants who have accepted their invitation to date, go to www.werf.org/Press/release_biosolids_participant_list.cfm.

On the first day of the summit, participants will discuss the definition of credible and legitimate research: who does it, how it is done, how it is managed, how it is funded, and who funds it. They will also brainstorm about necessary biosolids research. By the end of the second day, participants will have generated a more refined list of general biosolids research needs. On the final day, participants will try to develop specific recommendations for research priorities, research project oversight, and funding needs. CBI will compile the results of the summit into a report that will be reviewed by participants and made available to the public in the fall.


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