Citizen opposition to the possibility of industrial residuals or “sludge” being spread on land in Hanover filled the board of supervisors’ meeting room Aug. 27, with concerns centering on how a now-shelved proposal could impact water quality and quality of life.
Though Hanover’s governing body doesn’t have the authority to take action, because the issue is in the hands of the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, the supervisors’ legislative committee is recommending that the board request the state perform a study on the application of industrial residuals to land, specifically looking at how sludge is evaluated and whether or not it’s safe to apply to land, according to Sterling Rives, county attorney. Rives said he expects the committee’s recommendation will come up at the board’s Sept. 10 meeting.
A Baltimore-based waste management company, Synagro, has submitted a permit to the State Water Control Board, which includes Hanover and neighboring localities, such as King William and Goochland, to apply “industrial residuals,” which can come from places like paper mills or food processing facilities.
According to Kyle Winter, regional deputy director of water compliance and Virginia Pollution Abatement program manager, recently the Hanover landowner who had agreed to allow sludge to be unloaded on his property took his name and land out of Synagro’s permit request.
Because of citizens’ and others’ concerns, county officials invited Winter, who works for Virginia’s DEQ, to talk Aug. 27 about the agency’s practices, process and how they regulate and handle treatment of waste and the unloading of sludge on land.
“We are here because county staff contacted [us],” Winter said.
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