Weatherford Democrat

Top News

June 20, 2013

State to look at biosolids rules after odor complaints

Trinity River Authority opposes sludge rule changes

By CHRISTIN COYNE

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality took action Tuesday to begin evaluating possible restrictions on using treated and processed sewage as fertilizer because of numerous odor nuisance complaints from populated areas in North Texas.

Responding to a recent outcry by dozens of Parker County residents, Parker County Judge Mark Riley spoke Tuesday at an Austin meeting in favor of the move to consider changing state regulations.

Local officials have been bombarded with complaints over the past three weeks after Renda Environmental Inc., a company contracting with the City of Fort Worth for the removal of wastewater product, began applying treated sewage sludge to pastureland southwest of Springtown.

Residents say their quality of life has been affected by a foul stench, many saying the odor has kept them from going outdoors or made them feel sick. Many are also concerned about possible health and environmental effects, as well.

No permit is required to use Class A biosolids as fertilizer, though the sludge must be treated to reduce flies and other vector attractions and tested to ensure it’s non-hazardous, according to the state.

TCEQ responded to the complaints and has an open investigation but took no action to stop the application of the biosolids in the neighborhood. However, the City of Fort Worth has halted the application of biosolids by their contractor in Parker County after officials in that county were contacted by Riley.

TCEQ has opened enforcement action against Renda Environmental in relation to similar complaints in Wise County last month. Complainants in that case documented the affects of the odor issue, according to a TCEQ representative.

“I believe it is a quality control issue with the product, but it is also a common sense issue,” Riley said. “The company knew there was a problem with the product. TCEQ knew there was a problem with the product when they ordered the company to stop using it in Wise County last month.”

Text Only
Top News
Must Read
Top News
House Ads
AP Video
Renewed Violence Taking Toll on Gaza Residents 2 Americans Detained in North Korea Seek Help US Employers Add 209K Jobs, Rate 6.2 Pct House GOP Optimistic About New Border Bill Gaza Truce Unravels; Israel, Hamas Trade Blame Raw: Tunisia Closes Borders With Libya Four Rescued From Crashed Plane Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction
Poll

The City of Weatherford is considering an ordinance that would ban smoking inside restaurants and enclosed areas where food is prepared, sold or consumed. Do you agree with this proposal?

Yes
No
Undecided
Don't care
     View Results