National Sludge Alliance Fact Sheets
Public Facts #115
Lies, Dam Lies, and Toxic Sludge Dumping
* Farmers are now an endangered species. The EPA's Waste Water Division and Hazardous Waste DivisIon, by
promoting the use of toxic contaminated sewage sludge and hazardous waste mixtures as safe fertilizers for food crop
production land under an "exclusion" in the Federal Environmental Laws, have put them in danger. An exclusion which
doesn't exist. (Public Facts #100, #101, #104, #114)
* The recycled materials in the EPA's so called safe fertilizer include: nuclear waste, toxic heavy metals, toxic inorganic
materials and deadly disease organisms which the EPA warns can kill, cause cancer, disease, genetic problems as well
as physical and mental problems for the person or their unborn children, who inhale or ingest the toxic material either
directly from the environment or become exposed to the toxic materials through the food-chain. Some of these
materials can kill without leaving any indication of the cause. (Public Facts #105, #108, #109, #110, #112, #113, #114)
* Many States have followed the EPA's policy and changed their own laws to put Farmers in danger and allow the
disease and death causing toxic waste to be dumped on food crop production land. Both EPA and the States are
spending millions of taxpayer dollars to promote the use of toxic waste fertilizers and combine their resources, financial
and legal, to debunk (discredit) the "horror stories" told by people who have been harmed by the use of the toxic waste
contaminated "fertilizer". (Public Facts #101, #102, #103, #104, #111)
* Municipalities who generate the toxic sewage sludge are given the options by EPA of either disposing of the toxic
waste in a highly regulated sanitary landfill, required by law, or the uncontrolled dumping of the toxic sewage sludge on
food crop production land as a so called safe fertilizer. It would appear municipalities have a problem getting new
sanitary landfills approved, either by the voters or the regulations, so the obvious solution is either to buy or take land
for farm sludge dumps or to convince farmers to take the toxic sewage sludge without informing them of the risks
involved to themselves or their land. (Public Facts #100, #101, #110)
* Which could be the reason some cities, such as Modesto, California, "---vehemently opposes public disclosure rules
when it comes to land application (and God knows what else), and if it had its way, would simply tell folks if asked why
they are doing one thing or the other: "Shut-up, we'll tell you whats good for you." (Tom Fitchette, Editor, Stanislaus
Farm News, April 25,1997)
* According to an earlier article in the Stanislaus Farm News, dated October 4, 1996, the Farm Bureau proposed
disclosure rules, "have been met with resistance by sludge producers who maintain that disclosure of the risks may
"scare off" some land owners and make it more difficult to find sufficient land for their purposes." (Jan Marie Ennenga,
Is sludge viable for farming, p. 3)
* The municipality of Kansas City, Missouri is an example of what can happen to farmers and their heirs when a
municipality shows a complete disregard for human health or the farmers rights. In fact, Kansas City illegally enacted a
City Ordinance (940765, June, 1994) which intentionally took a farmer's legal open access easement to his property,
isolated behind a working sludge application site at its Birmingham Farm. Based on the Ordinance, M. Margaret
Sheahan Moran, Assistance City Attorney, approved a fake restricted easement agreement between the City and a
farm owner, which would force the farm tenants to cross the working sludge application site without informing them of
the risk involved.
* On the surface, it appeared the City was simply protecting itself and correcting a past mistake, when it originally took
land for the treatment plant in 1972. According to the General Ordinance Fact Sheet (940765), "This document
(Ordinance) will provide for correction of an error in the legal description which prohibited the original deed from being
excepted." In reality, the original deed in question was 22 years old and had been accepted by City Ordinance (42041)
on Dec. 20, 1972. Not only that, but the farmer's easement in question was reserved by City Ordinance (41209) in
* In 1972, Kansas City took land from farmers for a sewage treatment plant project. A City Ordinance, which described
the property and the rights retained by the property owners, was enacted to take the property. Of particular interest
was a right of away easement retained "forever", in a City prepared and recorded deed for the late Robert Minter.
Although there was a tiny inconsequential typographical error in the surveyor's starting point for the measurement of
the easement, the actual easement was described correctly in both the Ordinance and the deed.
* Did Kansas City conveniently "forget"about the 1972 Ordinance, which had no typographical error in it, and use the
uncorrected typographical error in the deed to claim the easement section of the deed was void? The real question is,
why would the Kansas City administration go to so much trouble to restrict a legal easement after Mr. Minter's widow
offered to sell all of her property to the City in April of 1988, at the price they were paying for similiar property?
Yet, in a letter dated, December 12, 1988, eight months after it was offered to the City, K. E. Burkhead, Sr., the City's
Chief of Engineer Services claimed the City no longer needed the property itself, but it did need a sludge pipeline
easement across part of the property.
* Kansas City offered several contracts with difference prices for the easement it wanted. However, the contracts had a
clause in them which "expressly waives any provisions of said Act (U.S. Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real
Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970) not herein complied with." When Mrs. Minter wouldn't sign the contracts,
condemnation was attempted by Attorney Moran and then withdrawn, because the City had failed to comply with the
federal laws they had asked her to waive.
* Shortly after Mr. Minter's widow died in 1989, the City began to expand its sludge dumping operation at the
Birmingham Farm site. In a letter dated May 8, 1990, Attorney Moran falsely claimed that the Minter property was
landlocked and the City was withdrawing its offer to buy the property, even though it had made no offer.
* In 1990, the City fenced off the legal easement into the Minter farm, which had kept the farmers off the sludge
application site and redirected the farmers access into the farm directly across the sludge application site, without
informing them of the risks involved (disease, death, cancer, etc., from inhaling the toxic elements- part 503.9(t).
* On January 25, 1991, City Attorneys Moran and Hauser, offered to exchange an easement into the "landlocked"
property in exchange for the required sludge pipeline easement. However, that exchange agreement had a clause in it
which would have allowed the legal landlocking of the property 10 days after the contract was signed, thereby
completely destroying its value.
* In a letter dated January 28, 1992, Kenneth A Konz, EPA Assistant Inspector General for Audit, found that "---
compliance with the URA (Uniform Relocation and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act) has not yet been achieved.",
by Kansas City. He also noted that, "The projects lingering disputes of public assess and property value of the
remaining Minter land are serious concerns that must be resolved before the Federal grants on the project are closed
out." Furthermore, he made note of a 1985 City issued Environmental Assessment report which indicated the Minter
property was important to the Kansas City sludge project.
According to Mr. Konz's letter, the City had furnished information which indicated the City's original (1972) purchase
had, "effectively denied access over public right of way to the remaining Minter property to the south and east of the
project." In effect, the letter indicated EPA grant money was still available to take the property.
* However, the City knew that the Minter property was not legally landlocked. In a memo to a new Mayor, Reverend
Emanuel Cleaver II, dated April 10, 1992, Roy Jackson, Director, Water and Pollution Control Department informed the
Mayor that, "This purchase did not landlock the remainder of this piece of property owned by the Minters because the
Minters retained an easement across the purchased portion of the property."
* Yet the City continued the charade. In a letter dated January 27, 1994, Attorney Moran sent out a copy of the original
recorded deed which retained the legal easement they had blocked with a fence and claimed, "The easement may not
appear in the public records because there was a mistake in the legal description of the easement;---". At that point,
Attorney Moran also offered a restricted easement agreement across the sludge sight, which would have voided out
the legal easement, endangered the farmers' health working the property and destroyed the property's value.
* In a letter dated June 2, 1994, Attorney Moran stated: "You do not have an easement across City property. When the
Minters sold the property to the City in 1972, they attempted to retain an easement across the property. The easement
was not retained across the property being sold, which was located in section 13, but the easement was mistakenly
described as being in section 15, across property that neither the Minters nor the City owned. Consequently, there is
no easement." Even though that was not possible, Attorney Moran claimed the City filed the reserved easement on
someone elses property, "The easement that was mistakenly retained in section 15 is likely a cloud on the title of that
property, owned by a third party."
* Attorney Moran also claimed the City intended to correct the error in the deed with a restricted easement, and "Once
the council has approved the easement, you will have assess across the City's property (sludge application site),
subject to the conditions in the easement." And, on June 30, 1994, the Kansas City council approved the Ordinance
which was used to file the fake easement agreement in the County Recorder of Deeds Office. The fake easement
agreement was signed by Gurnie C. Gunter, Director, Water and Pollution Control Department, who, as noted by the
previous Director, had all the correct documents in his files. Furthermore, the farmer's heir was not notified of this
action until December 15, 1995, eighteen months after the fact, and only after a court action was initiated to correct the
typographical error, an error which could have been corrected at a cost to the City of $26.00, by the City Attorney.
* The nation is in sad shape when the actions of EPA, the States and municipalities cause harm to farmers, destroy
farmland and contaminate our food crops without the possibility of anyone being held responsible for damages to
human health, civil rights or the environment.
* Government outrages against the people are rampant: "Nowadays, back in Dallas, Texas, civil rights has almost
become a dirty word," Judge Adolph Canales, chairman of the Texas (civil rights) committee, said, "We can never allow
that to happen, never. It is too important a concept in the liberty that we have in this country that we must always fight
to protect." (Arthur H. Rotstein, AP story, Laredo Morning Times, May 24, 1997) -LSI-