Statement of the President
Gerald G. Stansbury
First I would like to thank our local President Marvin “Doc” Cheatham for giving me the opportunity to express the
concerns of the Maryland State Conference regarding the issue of Sludge. I would also like to publicly thank Senator
Mikulski, Senator Cardin and Congressman Elijah Cummings for responding to our call for an investigation of this
matter. We at the Maryland State Conference NAACP have several concerns: Our concerns center around the
issues of safety and management standards governing the use of sludge, protocols in the use of human subjects for
experimental purposes and whether or not full disclosures of long term health risks were made to test subjects.
According to an article in the Baltimore Examiner Newspaper dated April 17, 2008, there have been over 300 permits
issued for Sludge throughout the Maryland Counties. We were informed that there is no permit necessary for Class A
sludge, the type that was supposedly dropped on the lawns of homes in East Baltimore, so it leaves us concerned as
to what type of sludge these permits cover and what other types of experiments are being performed that may harm
the health of African Americans?
After reading in a Baltimore Sun article that human waste and industrial waste were mixed with saw dust and wood
chips to create this sludge, and that the sludge was used in poor Black residential neighborhoods to determine if the
sludge could bind with the lead contaminated soil. The NAACP is concerned that the researchers did not perform
baseline or follow-up lead exposure tests on the children they were proposing to protect from lead contamination.
Nor did they assure that residences with children under two years of age were made lead safe. A lack of
communication with the broader community about this project along with the absence medical tests have created
grave concern among the members of NAACP. To this end we are here to demand that answers be provided to the
Were the test subjects notified of the full content, or possibility of health risks associated with the dropping of this
Where are the signed consent forms?
If the human beings were not needed to conduct this research why not just perform the test in a sandbox or
Have the lead issues been addressed in each of the houses?
Who from the EPA tested what was in the sludge when it came into the lab and monitored the process of converting
the sludge to a safe product and approved the sludge prior to it being placed in the yards of these test subjects?
Where are the lab reports?
We were informed that even with this composting method that other hazardous metals such as Mercury, Molybenum
and Silenium are left in the sludge and both can cause medical problems.
The Maryland NAACP is requesting that no further speading of Sludge be allowed until a full blown hearing is
conducted, where all of these questions are answered. We are also asking that those who feel they have been
harmed by this sludge be allowed to testify and that all agencies that have any connection with the use and
regulation of sludge, HUD,OSHA, the EPA, Maryland Dept of the Environment, Department of Agriculture, Dept of
Natural Resources, John Hopkins and Kennedy Krieger Institute, undergo and pass an AUDIT which shows that all
regulations and policies, management controls and safety standards regarding the testing, and dropping of sludge
have been adhered to. If any violations are found to have occurred, the Maryland NAACP demands that the violators
be sanctioned accordingly.