Use of biosolids discussed at TV Watershed Association meeting

VALLEY VIEW – The Tri-Valley Watershed Association met Thurs- day, March 17, at 7 p.m. at Hegins-Hubley Water Authority Building, Valley View.

Roger Wetzel. Valley View, opened the meeting with some questions pertaining to biosol- ids from sewer treatment plants, which are brought into Natural Soil Products, located between Donald- son and Good Spring. They are then mixed with leaves and other natural materials. He asked what the regulations are pertaining to biosolids and whether or not wet- lands are involved. He expressed concerns about runoff and possible damage to wetlands. He asked if any studies were com- pleted regarding contaminants and stated that it was mixed with leaves from NY.

Sandy McCullough asked if those who utilize these products have a permit and must they make residents in the township aware of their application of the biosolids through supervisors or other local leadership.

Kasmari and Hinkel explained

Residents

that biosolids are treated and divid- ed into two classes: Class A and Class B – based on level of treat- ment. Each class must be handled differently and must be tested for nutrient contents. Land application is based on nutrient levels and is similar to the nutrient manage- ment program, which regulates manure. They further explained that there is a permitting process and that a permit would come from the DEP. A plan must be developed for the site that is utilizing the bio- solids, and it must include the loca- tion of application, amount of application, and any setbacks. She noted that the user must have a copy of that plan when applying that material. She further stated that there is a public notification period associated with the permit- ting process.

Andrea Geist pointed out that the DEP is in charge of the biosolids regulations, and Wayne Lehman suggested they contact the Potts- ville Mining Office for more infor- mation.

Wetzel also asked the volume of water being taken out of Pine

Creek for irrigation and how that impacts wildlife. Kasmari and Hinkel noted that the Susquehanna River Basin Commission has regu- lations for it. Further discussion ensued and Hinkel, Lehman, and Jean Wilcox volunteered to research the answers and to pro- vide that information to Watershed President Pam Ulicny so that she could in turn brief Wetzel.

President Ulicny then provided a Watershed report during which Hinkel shared information about the DEP Watershed Initiative that the Schuylkill Conservation District is implementing in the Mahantongo Watershed. The primary focus under this DEP ini- tiative is to install agricultural best management practices where they are needed to reduce sediment and manure runoff. The SCD is encouraging everyone along the stream channel to install a 35’ ripar- ian buffer. This could be a forested buffer or grassed buffer. Hinkel sug- gested that there may be an oppor- tunity for the TVWA to partner with the SCD on this type of initia- tive, to help promote buffers along

the stream, and raise awareness.
If the TVWA is looking for a proj- ect, there may be an opportunity for tree planting projects in these buf- fer areas. Kasmari talked about past diversion wells and controlling AMD, which is also a concern in a

portion of the watershed.
The attendees discussed poten-

tial projects and dump site clean- ups emerged as a potential focus. Ulicny will make contacts to see if it might be possible to complete a previously unfinished cleanup and she will contact Ehrlich regarding herbicide application on the Tri-Valley Environmental site so that users might be notified in advance of the application.

The attendees also expressed interest in continuing to work to improve the trails on the Environ- mental Site through partnerships with groups like the Boy or Girl Scouts. The Association will inquire from the school district what motorized vehicles could be approved for use for trail project improvement plans.

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