Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Proposed Tennessee Rules On Biosolid Land Application

The Tennessee Water Quality Board has initiated the rulemaking process to promulgate rules for the land application of biosolids. Biosolids are solid organic matter recovered from a sewage treatment plant and used especially as fertilizer. Biosolids are currently regulated under 40 CFR Part 503. However, the State of Tennessee has no authority to enforce 40 CFR Part 503. EPA-Region 4 is the permitting authority per Part 503, but has had a very small presence in Tennessee since the promulgation of 40 CFR Part 503 in 1993.

The requirements of the proposed Tennessee rules are similar to 40 CFR Part 503 for the land application of Class B biosolids. In order to land apply Class B biosolids under 40 CFR Part 503, a level of pathogen reduction and vector attraction reduction option must be achieved and the concentrations of certain metals (pollutants or contaminants) must not exceed safe levels. With regard to pathogen reduction, vector attraction reduction and metal concentrations, the requirements of these proposed rules for the land application of Class B biosolids are the same as the requirements in 40 CFR Part 503.

The monitoring frequency, the recording keeping and reporting requirements are also the same, except that the proposed rules provide specifics for the agronomic rate calculation and add a few more setbacks to ensure protection of the waters of the state. There are no fees associated with the biosolids rules and general permit for the land application of Class B biosolids.

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