What's in the sludge?
OWASA won't sell land off N.C. 54 to the county for a future waste transfer station. In tomorrow's N&O and Chapel Hill News, we report the water and sewer agency also is not interested in a land swap unless the county has a specific property to offer, which it doesn't.
So what's so important about the parcel? OWASA uses about 20 of the 43 acres to spread biosolids, the treated byproducts of the sewage process. The county has over 1,000 acres permitted for sludge application, but the majority is owned by private entities. Is OWASA holding on to its land because it might someday become more difficult to find suitable sites for sludge disposal?
OWASA director Ed Kerwin suggests maybe. The EPA says sewage sludge is safe when applied by the rules. But groups like the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League continue to raise questions. Now, the county's Environment and Resource Conservation Department plans to ask the county board to take a closer look.
We'd like to talk with local people who have feelings -- pro and con -- about biosolids in Orange County. If you are interested in talking with a reporter please contact me at 932-2003 or email@example.com
Read more in tomorrow's Chapel Hill News.