FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 10, 2008
CONTACT: Laura Orlando, (v) 617-524-7258, (mobile) 617-413-8505,
Sixty-eight public interest groups applaud Senator Boxer’s investigation and hearings on toxics in drinking water and
sewage sludge poisoning our food
Pharmaceuticals and toxics in drinking water are inextricably associated with
sewers and sewage treatment
Environmental, Farm, and Food Safety Groups Applaud EPA’s
Policy Shift on the Land Application of Sewage Sludge
In a Major Policy Shift EPA Admits that the Agency Does Not Know
if Land Application of Sewage Sludge is Safe
WASHINGTON— On April 15th the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, chaired by Senator Barbara
Boxer, will be holding hearings on recent studies documenting pharmaceuticals found in drinking water around the
A few weeks later, in May, Senator Boxer’s Committee will be holding hearings on the land application of sewage
sludge and the massive use of sewage sludge as a fertilizer to grow food distributed throughout the U.S. (USDA
prohibits growing organic food on sewage sludge.)
Sixty-eight environmental, farm, and food safety organizations applaud applaud the leadership of Senator Boxer
holding long overdue hearings on these issues so vital to protecting the health of all Americans.
Discharges from wastewater treatment plants -- no matter what level of treatment -- are polluting our drinking water
and, through the land application of sewage sludge, poisoning our food.
In October 2003, 73 organizations working to protect the nation’s food supply petioned the EPA to stop the unsafe
practice of land application of sewage sludge. http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/pubs/FinalPetitionSludge.pdf.
On Christmas Eve, December 24, 2003, EPA denied the Petition.
In February of this year, a federal judge ruled among other things that the basis for EPA’s denial of the Petition was
based on misleading and false testing data and science. See "Sewage-Based Fertilizer Safety Doubted," Associated
Press (AP), March 6, 2008, http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2008/03/07/7533/
Pharmaceuticals in water are inextricably linked to sewage treatment effluent and sewage sludge. “Probe Finds Drugs
in Drinking Water,” AP, March 9, 2008, http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory?id=4416882
Attached is more information about the effects of pharmaceuticals being discharged by wastewater treatment plants
into the environment.