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EPA Biosolids Program Update Rick Stevens Office of Water Michigan Water Environment Association Bay city, MI February 21, 2008.

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Presentation on theme: "EPA Biosolids Program Update Rick Stevens Office of Water Michigan Water Environment Association Bay city, MI February 21, 2008."— Presentation transcript:

1 EPA Biosolids Program Update Rick Stevens Office of Water Michigan Water Environment Association Bay city, MI February 21, 2008

2 2 Office of the Assistant Administrator Assistant Administrator, Benjamin Grumbles Management & Operations Staff Water Policy Staff Resources Management Staff Communications Team American Indian Environmental Office Office of Ground Water & Drinking Water Water Security Division Drinking Water Protection Division Office of Science & Technology Director, Ephraim S. King Deputy Dir, Suzanne Rudzinski Office of Wastewater Management Office of Wetlands, Oceans & Watersheds Engineering & Analysis Division Director, Mary T. Smith Municipal Support Division Assessment & Watershed Protection Division Health & Ecological Criteria Division Director, Edward Ohanian Standards & Health Protection Division Director, Denise Keehner Water Permits Division Oceans & Coastal Protection Division Wetlands Division Senior Policy Advisor Standards & Risk Management Division Office of Water

3 Water Quality Criteria Drinking and recreational waters Nutrients / Sediment Biosolids Emerging Contaminants Program Areas Health & Ecological Criteria Division …applying science & technology to protect water quality

4 4 Pesticides Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products Endocrine Disrupting Compounds PFOA PBDEs Prions Nanomaterials *Not an exhaustive list. Pathogens

5 CAS Registry*  31 million organic and inorganic substances  Updated daily with ~4000 new substance records * American Chemical Society’s Chemical Abstracts Service Estimating the Universe of ECs Chemicals …applying science & technology to protect water quality

6 6 Known –Viruses Hepatitis Adenovirus 12 Norovirus –Bacteria Salmonella spp. (to include S. enterica ) Escherichia coli Enterococcus spp. Campylobacter spp. –Parasites Giardia Cryptosporidium Emerging – E. coli strains: Escherichia coli O157:H7 [enterohemorrhagic/Shiga-toxin producing; EHEC or STEC] Antibiotic-resistant (focus on vancomycin- and methicillin-) –Analogous Salmonella typhimurium strains Estimating the Universe of ECs Pathogens …applying science & technology to protect water quality

7 7 EU Definition: – New chemicals produced to offer improvements in industry, agriculture, medicine, and common conveniences. – New reasons for concern for existing contaminants. – New capabilities enabling improved examination of contaminants. Emerging Contaminants (ECs) What are they? …applying science & technology to protect water quality

8 8 What’s in a Name What to call these ‘compounds’ without negatively branding them as “worry” or “concern”  Emerging Contaminants of Concern  Emerging Substances of Concern  Compounds of Potential Concern  Pollutants of Potential Concern  Compounds of Emerging Concern  Emerging Contaminants  Microconstituents …applying science & technology to protect water quality

9 9 “Even with respect to their environmental impacts, the trace amounts released to the environment from biosolids land application are insignificant…” Source: Viewpoint in a November/December 2006 WEF Newsletter Biosolids Micro/Trace Constituents The Latest Hype? …applying science & technology to protect water quality

10 10 ECs illustrate the connection of individuals’ activities with their environment A large number of chemicals are getting into the environment with known and unknown concentrations and effects Detection of these chemicals is likely to increase –Analytical methods are developed –Look Numerous reports of intersex fish and other species have triggered Congressional and public interest No evidence of adverse human health effects So Why the Interest? …applying science & technology to protect water quality

11 11 To ensure that Part 503 standards are protective The US population is expected to double in 72 years What to do with increased volume of residuals 55% current production is land-applied Key Biosolids Issues …applying science & technology to protect water quality

12 12 <1% of nearly 470 million acres of agricultural land US is essentially self supportive in food production…indications of potential concern o Reaching food-production capacity o Loss of arable land and population increase Biosolids helps replenish OM, nutrients, buffer pH Less a nuisance and more a resource Must first address the technical, regulatory and communication challenges Key Biosolids Issues …applying science & technology to protect water quality

13 13 Current knowledge and future concerns Are biosolids a human health or environmental concern? Do we understand all the risks? Do we have all the needed risk assessment tools? Do we fully understand how well treatment of biosolids eliminates health and environmental risks? …applying science & technology to protect water quality

14 14 EPA’s Biosolids Action Plan In setting priority actions, we considered certain questions: o Would the action provide a link for detecting and quantifying pollutants o Would the action help ensure protectiveness of Part 503 o Would the action address scientific and policy complexities posed by land application We also considered input form a variety of sources o NAS recommendations o Public comments / WERF Research Summit o EPA priorities …applying science & technology to protect water quality

15 15 EPA’s Biosolids Action Plan Three categories / objectives 1. Advancing our understanding of science, technology, and risks 2. Ensuring implementation of laws and regulations 3. Communicating the best available information related to public fears and perceptions …applying science & technology to protect water quality

16 16 Summary of Select Biosolids Activities Current Targeted National Sewage Sludge Survey – includes 100 PPCPs Analytical techniques for virus and helmith Reactivation / sudden increase Incident tracking and rapid response Quantitative microbial risk assessment Antimicrobial resistance and HGT Wastewater modeling for predicting pollutant concentrations Biennial review cycles and 2007 …applying science & technology to protect water quality

17 Risk-Based Standards HEI/RME Scenario Ag Land-Application Exposure-Risk Model

18 S o i l + B i o s o l i d s PLANT HUMAN GROUND WATER HUMAN AIR PLANT GARDENER CHILD PLANT ANIMALANIMAL ANIMAL HUMAN PLANTPLANT ANIMALANIMAL SOIL BIOTA DUST HUMAN WATER HUMAN 14 - Pathway Risk Assessment

19 19 Summary of Select Biosolids Activities Needed Research effective pathogen destruction or appropriate indicators and pathogens Do Part 503 operational standards work Analytical capabilities for a host of pathogens and other pollutants Pathogen uptake by plants Global warming issues Appropriate measures of biosolids stability Complex or aggregate mixtures Biennial Review cycles 2009, 2011… Promulgate Part 503 rule changes Better understanding of odor generation & control Aggressively encourage and implement EMS Develop better risk communication tools …applying science & technology to protect water quality

20 20 Communication Challenge Voluntary vs. Involuntary The public sees voluntary risk differently than involuntary risk Voluntary  Ingestion  Bathing  Use  Disposal Involuntary: finding them in our environment in trace amounts …applying science & technology to protect water quality

21 21 Behavior: – Ingest / use – Excretion – Bathing – Disposal May make their way into soil and water: – Wastewater – Biosolids – Irrigation – Effluent Communication Challenge We All Contribute …applying science & technology to protect water quality voluntary voluntary leading to involuntary

22 22 …applying science & technology to protect water quality Courtesy of CH2M Hill Focusing on Source Control

23 23 Key Message Focus on Source Control Everyone contributes Clear linkages between individual behaviors and the presence of trace constituents We all should strive to minimize the amount of material we introduce into the water environment Think about product choices and source control …applying science & technology to protect water quality

24 24 White House Office of National Drug Control Policy Prescription Drug Abuse Guidance

25 25 Key Message Strategic Risk Communication We need better expertise in communicating complex technical material to citizens Process of scientific methods and strategies Someone verse in ‘best practice’ SRC: o Up on the research literature o Analysis of information needs o Empirical evaluation of SRC impacts SRC success is satisfaction of the people involved that they have been adequately informed within the limits of available knowledge, and their needs are met. …applying science & technology to protect water quality

26  No documented evidence to indicate that Part 503 has failed to protect public health  However, additional scientific work is needed to reduce persistent uncertainty about the potential for adverse health effects from exposure to biosolids  ~60 recommendations NAS / NRC Report, July 2002 The Agency: Developed an Action Plan:  14 projects 10.5 completed 3.5 ongoing What have we been doing since NAS report (issued 2002) …applying science & technology to protect water quality

27 27 Field Study The application and study at the Piedmont Research Station in Salisbury, NC commenced at a time of the year that is typical for the application of biosolids using routine agronomic practices This research was not designed to investigate health-related incidents and therefore does not constitute a health effects research study Measured air emissions, biosolids, and related environmental and other conditions associated with the test application The goal of this research study was to investigate air and soil sampling methods and approaches and to optimize them if necessary in order to develop a protocol

28 28 …applying science & technology to protect water quality

29 29 Exposure Measurements Workshop Abstract  The final Agency response to the NRC report was published in the Federal Register in 2003  One of these projects was to conduct a Biosolids Exposure Measurement Workshop  This workshop was held March 16-17, 2006, Cincinnati, OH.  This document is a summary of the workshop. –It describes presentations given by 16 experts –It concludes with a list of research needs –In the long-run, the goal of this workshop is to help enable the Agency to better assess the risk associated with the land application of biosolids. …applying science & technology to protect water quality

30 30 …applying science & technology to protect water quality Just completed report

31 31 PPCP Inventory Development Sought to look at PPCP research conducted in the U.S. – What chemicals have researchers tested for? – Where? (location, media) – What analytical methods were used? – What concentrations did they find? Will aid EPA’s regulatory or guidance development activities – Drinking/recreational water regulations – Use and disposal of sewage sludge – Ambient aquatic life criteria Will significantly expand EPA’s existing PPCP scientific inventory …applying science & technology to protect water quality

32 32 Preliminary Findings PPCP Inventory 1537 Samples 176 PPCP 14 Media Types …applying science & technology to protect water quality

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34 34 What We Found So Far PPCP Inventory Analytical methods are highly variable Many found at ppt-ppb levels in the environment Locations are often vague or missing Results aren’t always presented as single values, but as a range or average, or in a graph One chemical can have many names, and they aren’t always easy to find …applying science & technology to protect water quality

35 35 Alternate names for Triclosan 2,4,4’-Trichloro-2’- hydroxydiphenyl ether 2'-hydroxy-2,4,4'- trichlorodiphenyl ether 2'-hydroxy-2,4,4'-trichlorophenyl ether 5-chloro-2-(2,4- dichlorophenoxy)phenol Cloxifenolum Irgasan Irgasan CH 3635 Irgasan DP 300 trichloro-2'- hydroxydiphenylether CH 3635 Microban DP-300 Lexol 300 Ster-Zac Cloxifenolum Biofresh

36 36 PPCP Inventory Next Steps Gather and compile data needed for human health and ecological risk assessment – Physical chemical property data – Fate and transport data – Bioaccumulation factors – Human health benchmarks Consistent effort needed to keep up with publication rate PPCP/EC resource Invaluable input to decision processes – WQC – DWS – Biosolids …applying science & technology to protect water quality

37 37 Better models Nutrients: Evaluating alternative approaches to model effects of nitrite oxidation in predicting concentrations Pathogen Risk: Develop quantitative microbial risk assessment options for assessing pathogen risks following exposure to land-applied biosolids Exposure: Develop/improve wastewater modeling options to estimate pollutant concentrations in biosolids Bioassay: Evaluate available methods for applying screening approaches (e.g., the WET test or reasonable facsimile thereof) for biosolids residual toxicity in effluents or sewage sludge Aggregate or mixed stressors: Utilize similar modes of action or chemistry to determine population and community effects …applying science & technology to protect water quality

38 38 Better methods Chemicals in the environment Non-standardized methods Sometimes we don’t know More compounds in use Identify Prioritize Existing methods  100 PPCPs  Fecal coliform (i.e., 1680 and 1681)  Salmonella spp. (i.e., 1682)  New holding time study Methods needed  Viruses  Ascaris (viable helminth ova)  Plenty …applying science & technology to protect water quality

39 39 Targeted National Biosolids Survey Why: Response to the 2002 NRC report Addressed a target list of pollutants identified in 2003 Expanded the original survey scope to include semi- volatiles, inorganic ions, PPDEs, and PPCPs Randomly selected POTWs 84 samples collected 74 facilities

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45 45 Calcium at 311,000 mg/kg was from Class A sludge produced by advanced alkaline stabilization with subsequent drying. The alkaline stabilization process involves addition of large amounts of lime (calcium carbonate) to the material. Iron at 299,000 mg/kg and elemental phosphorus at 118,000 mg/kg occurred in the same sample: The facility adds ferric chloride during its wastewater treatment process This treatment step results in high levels of iron and phosphorus Silver at 856 mg/kg occurred in a sludge sample from a POTW that employs a “complete mix activated sludge process” Could not easily ascertain source Incineration …applying science & technology to protect water quality What about Certain Maximums?

46 46 Comparison of Survey Maximums

47 47 Comparison of Mean Concentrations Dry Wt Metal TNSSS NSSS 40-City Survey Arsenic (ug/kg) Cadmium (mg/kg) Chromium (mg/kg) Copper (mg/kg) Lead (mg/kg) Mercury (mg/kg) Molybdenum (mg/kg) Nickel (mg/kg) Selenium (mg/kg) Zinc (mg/kg) 10291,2021, Region 8 Data

48 48 Have: little bits of activity ongoing in quite a lot of areas Fact: we believe that Part 503 is protective, but much remains unknown Need: focused Research in a few key areas to reduce our vulnerability in a few key areas o Treatment efficacy o Pathogen survival and natural attenuation o Pathogen emergence mechanisms o Pathogen uptake in plants Why: To ensure public health and environmental safety of biosolids land application To provide sound biosolids management options, as well as information about these options to the public …applying science & technology to protect water quality Summary

49 Rick Stevens U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of Water Office of Science and Technology Health and Ecological Criteria Division Washington, D.C …applying science & technology to protect water quality Quit treating biosolids like crap


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