| Biosolids Bill Not Improved, Moves Forward|
| In the Appropriations Committee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government (Chair Sen. Brodeur, R-Sanford), SB 0880, Biosolids, by Sen. Brodeur took another step forward in the legislative process and passed favorably through the committee. |
The bill prohibits DEP from authorizing land application site permits for Class B biosolids (sewage sludge) within the watershed or upstream of impaired waterbodies unless the applicant can demonstrate that the nutrients in the biosolids will not increase nutrient loadings in the impaired watershed. The bill also authorizes DEP to provide grants within the wastewater grant program for projects that convert wastewater residuals to biosolids.
Audubon has pointed out that the unintended consequence of this change could be to drive the conversion of more Class B biosolids to Class AA — which has just as many algae bloom-fueling nutrients without any restrictions on or tracking of where they are used.
We were disappointed that anticipated improvements to the bill (that would not just incentivize conversion to Class AA, but would incentivize conversion for other uses, like Waste-to-Energy solutions, as well as creating a tracking program to ensure we know where these materials end up) were not added as an amendment at this committee stop.
The House companion bill is HB 1405, sponsored by Rep. Tuck (R-Lake Placid).