Celgar pulpmill sludge is being offered to landowners as a free soil ammendment – but no one is told what chemicals or bacteria are in the sludge.
Ministry of Environment staff say that there is no requirement to test for such contaminants. Rural residents are drinking groundwater and are concerned that contaminants from the sludge – which can be applied at rates as high as 300 tonnes per hectare, may leach down into groundwater.
The Ministry staff explained that they do no testing of the sludge – nor do they supervise the mill sludge sampling. The Mill does the sampling. Waste materials can contain many dangerous pathogens or chemicals, and rural residents should be protected from toxic exposures.
Even though the Ministry doesn’t know what is in the sludge – they allow its use near homes, schools, grazing livestock, and drinking water wells. Where is the scrutiny and accountability?
Reduce, Reuse, Refuse
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