Annual Report

NE 1001 Meeting 2003

Ithaca, New York


Project/Activity Title:    Application of Sewage Biosolids to Agricultural Soils in the Northeast: Long-term Impacts and Benefit Uses


Period Covered:                       06-2002 to 06-2003

Date of Report:                         08-15-2003

Annual Meeting Dates:              06-26-2003 to 06-27-2003



Decker, Dan, Administrative Advisor, Cornell

Harrison, Ellen, co-Chair, Cornell

Krogmann, Uta, co-Chair, Rutgers

Bean, Christine, secretary, UNH


Barker, Allen, UMass

Elliott, Herschel, Penn State U

Hale, Beverly, U of Guelph

Hargreaves, Jennifer, U. of Guelph

Hay, Anthony, Cornell

Horner, Allison, Cornell

Knighton, Ray, CSREES- Washington, D.C.

McBride, Murray, Cornell

McDowell, Bill, UNH

Pfeffer, Max, Cornell (June 27)

Richards, Brian, Cornell

Smith, Jennifer, Cornell

Steenhuis, Tammo, Cornell

Stehouwer, Rick, Penn State U

Thies, Janice, Cornell (afternoon June 26)


Minutes of Annual Meeting:


Thursday, June 26, 2003: Day 1 of Meeting


The meetings began at 9:00 am with introductions and a review and the approval of the meeting agenda.  Uta Krogmann, co-chair of committee, explained that the presentations were organized by proposal topics and that the presentations for each proposal topic would be followed by a discussion period.  Excerpts from the approved project proposal were handed out (appendix 1).


Dan Decker announced that the new administrative director of the Cornell Agricultural Experiment Station, Max Pfeffer, would be a guest at the second day of the meeting.  Dan recommended that Max takes over as project liaison with the Experiment Station directors. (Note: In the meantime, Max Pfeffer notified NE1001 that there are some shifts in responsibilities and that Dan Decker will continue being the liaison with the Experiment Station directors).


Topic Section I: Sewage Biosolids Quality


“Survey of Metals in STP Biosolids and Agricultural Soils”

Presenter:  J. Hargreaves, U of Guelph


The focus of this research was to assess unregulated metals in sewage biosolids and agricultural soils. The metal concentrations were determined in sewage biosolids from 25 STPs (Sewage Treatment Plants) in Ontario. For 12 months, one daily composite sample was collected each month. A table was handed out describing the participating STPs (appendix 2).  Soil samples were taken from 120 fields in Southern Ontario with known histories of whether land application has occurred or not (2 composite samples each field).  Metals analyzed in sewage biosolids and soil samples included cadmium, copper, molybdenum, aluminum, antimony, barium, beryllium, manganese, silver, strontium, thallium, tin, and vanadium.  The variability of metals between and within facilities was presented.  For example, thallium was generally very low except for one STP with a median of 18 ppm.  Similarly for tin, samples from two STPs were about 10 times higher than the medians reported for the rest of the facilities.  Samples from all facilities had high Al concentrations.  Metal levels in agricultural soils were similar to levels reported in the so-called "Parkland Study".


Discussion:  Sampling issues for sewage biosolids were discussed. It was suggested that it would be of interest to compare daily samples with samples over several days.  A similar study was performed in Germany.  Analytical issues regarding soil Mo levels were discussed because the soil Mo levels in this study were much higher than found in NY and in a study conducted by Holmgren. It was also discussed that it would be interesting to look at the industrial dischargers of various facilities. Jennifer indicated that there might be a follow-up study looking at various industrial dischargers.  She also indicated that she presented the results of a first round of testing and that the Ontario Ministry performed more analyses than presented here.



“Organic Chemicals in Sewage Sludges” 

Presenter:  E. Harrison, Cornell

Currently, according the federal regulations monitoring of organic chemicals is not required. Objective of this study was to compile available data (literature, data required by states, data from WEF and AMSA).  Results: 36 sources found, few provide info on sewage biosolids type or average values (only ranges), 300 different chemicals in 15 chemical classes and 744 individual tests were reported in the papers. EPA SSLs (soil screening levels) were found for 71 of the 300 chemicals and used as a benchmark.  59 of the organic chemicals for which there were SSLs had one or more samples that exceeded a SSL indicating that evaluation of risk might be warranted.  As pointed out in the National Research Council sewage biosolids report, the National Sewage Sludge Survey published in 1990 had high limits of detection for various chemicals, well above SSLs.  Thus using “non detect” as a criterion for eliminating a chemical from regulation may not address chemicals that pose a risk through land application.  Knowledge about fate and transport, presence and concentration and ecological impacts is needed for organic chemicals in sewage biosolids.  Persistent bioaccumulative toxics are of particular concern. 

Discussion:  How to regulate testing protocol?  If you dilute sample so you can test for chemicals you know are present at high levels, you may miss others. Analytical detection with a standard is different than in these biosolids/sludge matrices.

Future research needs include the assessment of additional organic chemicals of concern in sewage biosolids and sewage biosolids applied soils; establish fate and transport; and evaluate ecological endpoints.


Topic Section I Group Discussion: Sewage Biosolids Quality

Uta Krogmann summarized what was proposed in the NE1001 proposal and what was accomplished so far in this project. Various studies were performed addressing characteristics and variability of selected nutrients, metals, pathogens and organics. Areas not studied include analytical variability; sampling variability; sampling strategies including frequency of collection and sample size.

Plans for the next year: Even though not proposed, various group members will continue working on pathogens (viral assays at Cornell (Steenhuis) and various pathogen issues at UNH (Bean and Margolin)). A summary of UNH laboratory projects for the next year was included in meeting handouts (Appendix 3). Anthony Hay will analyze temporal trends in 5-90 MGD facilities for organics.  Questions regarding analytical and sampling variability can only be addressed if external funding can be secured.


Topic Section II: Metal Availability


“Molybdenum Extractability in Soils and Uptake by Alfalfa 20 years after Sewage Sludge Application”

Presenter:  M. McBride, Cornell

Molybdenum (Mo) at elevated concentrations in non-acid soils is readily taken up into pastures and forage crops, particularly legumes, and can result in secondary copper deficiency or molybdenosis in ruminants. Because sewage biosolids are commonly much higher in Mo concentration than soils, amendment of soils with sewage biosolids could cause health problems in livestock. To determine the long-term potential for sewage biosolids amendments to raise forage Mo concentrations, alfalfa from historical experimental sewage biosolids application sites at the University of Guelph were analyzed in 2000. At two field sites with near-neutral soils of different texture, more than about 5 kg/ha of cumulative Mo loading 20 years earlier lowered the forage Cu/Mo concentration ratio below the critical 2/1 limit for the health of grazing ruminants, despite evidence that most of the Mo applied in several sewage biosolids materials had been lost from the topsoil at both sites. Over all experimental plots at both sites, the alfalfa Mo concentration was correlated to readily extractable Mo (by 0.01 M CaCl2) in the soil. Total soil Mo was a good predictor of alfalfa at only one of the two sites. The need for stronger regulation and monitoring of Mo in sewage biosolids intended for forage, pasture and rangeland application is indicated.


Discussion:  The problem of averaging soil and forage Mo data from acid soils and alkaline soils was discussed.  Average values are not protective for alkaline soils.  M. McBride suggested 5 kg/ha loading limit for Mo which would be about the amount associated with Cu/Mo ratio of 2 on near neutral soils.  It was also discussed if there should be different loading limits depending on crop and soil.


“Use of Hot 0.01 M CaCl2 Extractant to Determine Mo Availability and Uptake by Crops”

Presenter:  R. Stehouwer, Penn State

Five farms from the 18 farm assessment of sewage biosolids effects on soil quality conducted by Shober et al. (2003) were selected to investigate the ability of a dilute salt extractant (hot 0.01 M CaCl2) to determine Mo availability and uptake by crops. The 5 farms provided corn (grain), alfalfa, soybean, and grass hay samples collected with corresponding soil samples from sewage biosolids and non-sewage biosolids fields in two consecutive years. Crop tissue samples were analyzed for Cu and Mo, and soil samples were analyzed for pH and dilute salt extractable Cu, Mo, and S. It was found that:

·         Crop tissue content of Mo was dependent both on crop species and crop tissue analyzed.

·         Cumulative Mo loading from sewage biosolids application was a poor predictor of crop tissue Mo content and crop uptake of Mo.

·         Hot 0.01 M CaCl2 extractable Mo provided a better indicator of crop Mo uptake than did cumulative Mo loading, but the relationship did not appear to hold for all crops and all sewage biosolids.

·         Soil pH also provided a better indicator of crop Mo uptake than did cumulative Mo loading. Again the relationship did not hold for all crops and sewage biosolids.

·        Greatest risk for hypocuprosis appeared to be from sewage biosolids applications that increased soil pH above 7 combined with a crop that is susceptible to increased soil Mo availability. Even in this case (pH of 8 with whole plant soybean) the data showed Cu/Mo ratio approaching but not going below 2.

Discussion: R. Stehouwer suggests advising dairy farmers that they should monitor Mo for fields with pH>7.


“Development of a Zinc-Contaminated Soil for Research”

Presenter:  A. Barker, U. Mass.

The focus of the experiment was to develop a Zn-contaminated soil that would provide a wide range of Zn concentrations within one soil type.  Zinc sulfate was mixed with soil to simulate concentrations present in contaminated soils.  Morgan’s extractable zinc decreased as the incubation period progressed from 44% on day 7 to 32% on day 21.  Results indicated that the incubation period can be as short as 7 days to create a suitable Zn-contaminated soil for research.


Topic Section II Group Discussion: Metal Availability

Uta Krogmann summarized what was proposed in the NE1001 proposal and what was accomplished so far in this project.  The focus of the group's work was on Mo (field studies) and long-term effects in soil columns.  Less fieldwork was done on metals other than Mo.

Plans for next year: 

Murray McBride et al. will collect soil crop data for cycle 13 of the soil column study with different sewage biosolids treatments.  Bill McDowell will continue his study to quantify areas of stockpiling in field. His goal is to estimate where stockpiles and total residual metals are at site and compare that to total application rate and to the effect on groundwater.  Rick Stehouwer's mine reclamation project assessing nutrient and metals in runoff will end this month. Bev Hale is working on hydroponics experiments to incorporate metals into tissues. 


Topic Section III: Soil Organisms/EcoTox Testing


"EcoTox Testing"

Presenter: A. Hay, Cornell

A short summary was presented about a workshop by the Canadian Ministry of the Environment on how to assess results from EcoTox testing.  Goal of the workshop was to develop a research agenda. A short introduction to EcoTox testing was also given.  In addition to toxicity testing, behavioral changes can be evaluated. Currently, these tests are developed as vehicle to identify sites needing further remediation.


“Earthworm Response to Cornell’s Old Orchard”

Presenter: J. Smith, Cornell

Study site includes a control, a control with lead arsenate and a test plot area with heavy sewage biosolids applications. Samples were taken from site and lab avoidance assay was performed following Canada’s EPA Standards. Three replicates of each set up were performed.  Data suggest that the worms preferred lead arsenate soil to unimproved soil and avoided sewage biosolids applied soils. Lumbricus terrestris was only found in control site.  The tests will be repeated and complimented by plant studies.

Discussion: Avoidance assays are relatively new and therefore not much information can be found in the literature. The question was raised how the test compares to other microbial tests. Microbial biomass was not significantly different in this study. However, data do not exist how to correlate avoidance to particular compounds in the soil or to microbial assessment tools.


“Characterizing Microbial Communities in Sludge Amended Soils”

Presenter: J. Thies, Cornell

If we rely on cultivation only 0.1-10% of the microbial soil community (bacteria and fungi) can be determined.  An overview was given about molecular methods to evaluate the soil microbial community using community-fingerprinting methods. Limitations of PCR-based techniques were discussed.  Preliminary results for the old orchard site discussed in the previous presentation were presented using the community-fingerprinting method.  The study of the old orchard site will be continued and additional sites will be evaluated.

Discussion: Functionality determination using community-fingerprinting methods will identify functional operational subclass units for the organisms which will give biochemical information and therefore will help in culturing the organisms.


Topic Section III Group Discussion:  Soil Organisms/EcoTox Testing

Uta Krogmann summarized what was proposed in the NE1001 proposal and what was accomplished so far in this project. 

Plans for the next year:

The two studies presented will be continued.



Topic Section IV: Extension


“Integrating Development of Extension Materials and Formative Informal Evaluation: Land Application of Sewage Sludge as a Case Example”

Presenter: U. Krogmann, Rutgers

Due to the controversial nature of land application of sewage biosolids, the development of an Extension program and Extension materials to provide agents and farmers with information on this topic was stalled in its initial stages for several years in New Jersey. Informal evaluation techniques (semi-structured interviews, meeting evaluations,

peer-reviews, pre-testing) enabled a consensus-building process with frequent opportunities for constructive feedback, without which technical guidelines and fact sheets might still not exist in New Jersey.  One novel aspect of the Extension program and materials related to land application was that they attempted to address social and legal issues in addition to technical issues.

Discussion: It was asked what the impact of the outreach material was.  The impact of the outreach material was not evaluated, even though it would be interesting to evaluate the impact.  It was also discussed that the outreach material fulfills the need of the agricultural agents but might be objectionable to other stakeholders such as environmentalists or utility authorities. 


“Considerations for Diary Farms Regarding Use of Sewage Sludges, Sludge Products and Septage

Presenter:  E. Harrison, Cornell

Ellen Harrison, Murray McBride, Dave Bouldin, Larry Chase, and Sean Bassard developed a guidance document.  Issues addressed included economics, nutrient management plan, neighbor issues, testing issues, spreading/application issues, and pathogens. The document has been sent out to reviewers.


Topic Section IV Group Discussion: Extension

Uta Krogmann summarized what was proposed in the NE1001 proposal and what was accomplished so far in this project.  The development of extension materials/website as a group has not taken place.  The feasibility of doing this where every state is different was discussed.  One suggestion was to expand the website and put state specific extension materials on this site.  In addition, specific issues that are unique to the Northeast and that are common to all participating states such as methodology issues should be put on the website. Unique Northeast conditions include acidic and low organic matter soils, shallow ground water, farming systems specific to these soil conditions (dairy farms, farm sizes), proximity to neighbors, possibly smaller wastewater treatment facilities and political and social environment.  This topic was discussed in more depth the following day.


Update Section


Nonylphenols and Ibuprophen:  A. Hay, Cornell

Quarterly samples of sewage biosolids were collected from the Ithaca area. Selected pharmaceuticals and ingredients of personal care products were analyzed. There are other laboratories looking at these compounds in effluent output vs. sewage biosolids.


European Update: U. Krogmann, Rutgers

Central and Northern European countries are moving away from land application. There are discussions in Germany to no longer land apply sewage biosolids, but to incinerate all sewage biosolids. Landfilling is not an option since only very stabilized wastes can be landfilled.  Sewage biosolids do not fulfill these landfill requirements.  Reasons for the banning of land application are uncertainties about endocrine disrupting compounds in sewage biosolids.  Discussions in Denmark are similar.  Switzerland actually banned land application based on the precautionary principle.


EcoTox Assays:  A. Hay, Cornell

Worm assays and chemical extractions will be performed to look for chemical surrogates for EcoTox testing.


January 2004 Orlando Meeting: Sustainable Land Application Conference

H. Elliott, Penn State

Meeting announcement was provided as handout (Appendix 4).  Abstracts for the poster sessions can be submitted until August 1st. W170 will meet in conjunction with the conference and will invite NE1001 members to participate in their meeting. There were discussions about whether the conference provides a balanced view of the topic. It was also discussed if NE1001 should organize a conference and include European researchers.


WERF Biosolids Research Summit: E. Harrison, Cornell

Ellen Harrison is one of the five members of the steering committee. WERF received funds from USEPA and subscribers to solicit research needs based on the outcome of the NAS report. The three-day meeting is invitation only but other people can apply to be observers (see WERF website).  The program committee is interested in involving various stakeholders such as sludge victims, environmental organizations, academics, federal, state and local government, utility authorities and the sewage biosolids industry. The agenda is oriented towards WERF’s process for generating and managing research. The meeting is being prepared and moderated by third parties, CBI and RESOLVE.


Water Quality CSREES Proposal: B. Richards, Cornell

A project submitted to USDA was presented to train TSPs (training specialists).  A website on preferential flow will be prepared this year and a website about another topic next year.


NRI (National Research Initiative) integrated program: R. Knighton, USDA-CREES

There is a significant increase in NRI funding with focus on integrated programs. Integrated means multi-state, multi-region, research extension connection. Matching funds are required. There is also a category to apply for funding for conferences.  Amount of money for conference funding not known at the moment, but the amount mentioned earlier with the January 2004 meeting ($40,000.00) is not out of the question.  There are discussions whether USDA should support research on sewage biosolids/urban runoff.  There was the suggestion from our group that a pre-proposal to be instituted to limit the work on full-length proposals.  Furthermore, a tiered approach would give more feedback to submitters.  Knighton encouraged group to share a letter with NRI and give feedback on proposal writing.


Meeting adjourned at 5:00 pm.



Friday, June 27, 2003:  Day 2 of Meeting


The meeting began at 8:00 am.


Topic Section V:  Water Quality


“Nutrient and Trace Element Flux Following Surface Mine Reclamation with Biosolids”

Presenter:  R. Stehouwer, Penn State

Sewage biosolids are used for mine reclamation in PA at a rate of 60 dry tons acre-1. Using anaerobically digested sewage biosolids cake, this rate adds approximately 5,000 lb total N acre-1 and on the order of 1,000 of plant available N acre-1 in the first year after application. An abandoned mine site was instrumented to collect surface runoff, leachate, and ground water samples. Water quality at the site was monitored for one year prior to, and for two years following reclamation with sewage biosolids. No changes were observed in groundwater quality aside from small nitrate spikes. Surface runoff water showed no discernable changes in trace element concentrations or phosphorus, but a clear though relatively small pulse of nitrate. Leachate water showed the greatest impact from sewage biosolids application. During the first fall and winter following application there was a large pulse of nitrate with concentrations up to 300 ppm, followed by a second, smaller pulse the following fall. Leachate nitrate-N remains >10 ppm 1.5 y after sewage biosolids application. Estimated leaching loss of nitrate-N was 700 – 1000 kg ha-1. There was also a small pulse of leachate P during the first fall and winter following biosolids application and a clear pulse of trace metals, despite relatively low loading rates. These results indicate potential for significant N loss and a need to reassess current sewage biosolids reclamation practices to more effectively manage nitrogen.

Discussion: Rick Stehouwer indicated that monitoring of the site is complete and that no more samples will be collected from this site. It was discussed that for both years the pH in the leachate dropped below 5.  B. Richards indicated that based on the greenhouse lysimeters at Cornell acidification accompanied by metal remobilization can be expected for several years.


“Biosolids Phosphorous: Issues and Emerging Strategies”

Presenter:  H. Elliott, Penn State

Nutrient enrichment and eutrophication of surface waters have been identified as a significant water quality problem in the U.S.  Phosphorus (P) is the limiting nutrient in most fresh water systems and regulatory agencies are developing strategies to reduce P losses from cropland amended with manure and sewage biosolids.  The water extractable P (WEP, as % of total-P) of manures and sewage biosolids has been proposed as an estimate of their potential to enrich drainage and surface runoff.  Previous investigations have found that WEP in manures and sewage biosolids varies considerably, but manure WEP is typically much higher than sewage biosolids WEP.  The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between WEP and runoff P levels under controlled rainfall simulator conditions. 

Five P-sources [fresh dairy manure, anaerobically digested sewage biosolids (low Al and Fe), aerobically digested sewage biosolids (elevated Al), anaerobically digested sewage biosolids (elevated Fe), and composted sewage biosolids (elevated Fe)] were surface applied at 100 lbs. P acre-1 to runoff trays (20-cm x 100-cm x 7.5-cm deep) packed with 5 cm of soil.  An acid-shale and a calcareous soil, each with high-P and low-P (Mehlich-3) background levels, were studied (four soils in all).  Trays were sloped at 3% and subjected to a 30-min rainfall event (intensity = 7 cm hr-1).  Collected runoff was analyzed for total mass, total solids, total volatile solids, runoff dissolved P (RDP), and total runoff P (TRP).  Two rainfall/runoff cycles were performed.

Dairy manure treatments had significantly higher RDP compared to all sewage biosolids treatments.  Runoff DP for all materials was highly correlated (r2 = 0.9) with the WEP of the P-source. Average runoff DP from high-Fe biosolids cake was not statistically different from control (soil only) trays.  TRP was also significantly greater for dairy manure than for biosolids.  Findings suggest WEP is superior to total P as a measure of environmentally relevant P in organic P soil amendments.  As P-based nutrient management is implemented for land application, it is imperative that guidance and regulatory policies reflect the different runoff P potentials of sewage biosolids and manures.  Moreover, WEP is a simple test that could be used as a measure of P-source availability in the P indices being developed in several states.

Discussion: Tammo Steenhuis indicated that from his experience WEP in manure is dependent on manure age.  In this study fresh manure was used.  According to Tammo Steenhuis WEP of fresh manure is twice as high as after 7 days.


“Short and Long-term Trace Element Mobility”

Presenter:  B. Richards, Cornell

This presentation summarized findings from three recent and/or ongoing projects:


1.  Release of trace elements from sludge: microbial roles

Sewage biosolids trace element release and mobility is microbially mediated. To clarify the role, microbial activity was altered with incubation temperature or the presence of Ag biocide and periodically leached to assess element release. Tests involved no active promotion of microbes (such as is the case with bioleaching).  Substantial losses of trace elements (nearly 100% of Zn) are possible when microbial acidification is allowed to proceed.  The presence of known (Thiobacillus sp.) and putative (Ralstonia sp.) S-oxidizers were confirmed by enrichment.  Direct acidification was equally efficient to microbial acidification, and prevention of acidification by lime or calcareous sand minimized loss, as did the presence of layer of calcareous sand below the sewage biosolids.


2.  Monitoring a commercial farm with long-term waste applications

A large (850-head) dairy farm was monitored in the Southern Tier of NY, which has applied sewage biosolids since 1978. Other wastes applied are manure, some septage and food processing wastes. Soils are shallow inceptisols on glacial till. Corn silage and forage are grown for on-farm feed. Six fields were selected representing primary wastes applied: sewage biosolids, manure, or none (fertilizer only). Maximum cumulative metal loadings were <1% of Part 503 limits.  Even well documented farms are difficult to monitor. All wastes caused detectable surface soil enrichment of P, S and Mo, and all affected percolate quality to some extent. Intensive surface water monitoring April 2000 showed that exports from primarily sewage biosolids applied watershed exceeded fertilizer watershed for most analytes.


3.  Long-term fate controlled application study

The ongoing greenhouse study (started in 1994) showed that leaching of Cd and especially Zn are increasing from acidic “unmanaged pH” columns.  Leachate Mo and B from N-Viro are slowly declining years after last application. Adverse long-term crop effects are less pronounced when full nutrients are supplied. One notable long-term effect is water repellency, with high-organic sewage biosolids (dewatered, composted and pellets) showing marked hydrophobicity.


Topic Section V Group Discussion: Water Quality

Uta Krogmann summarized what was proposed in the NE1001 proposal and what was accomplished so far in this project. 

Plans for the next year: H. Elliott will continue at Penn State with rainfall simulator studies.


NRC Report and USEPA Response

Presenter:  E. Harrison, Cornell

USEPA commissioned NAS to review some aspects of 503 rule with focus on human health.  Ellen was asked to be a member of the committee to review published scientific literature.  The report is a consensus document, which can be accessed at

USEPA will publish a response to this document; a final response is expected in January 2004.  In addition, a research agenda will be developed at the WERF Biosolids Summit that was discussed at the previous day.


Research needs identified by this group that should be raised at the WERF Biosolids Summit include:

·        Bean: Pathogen research. Method development for use in assessing emerging pathogens is necessary.  Current methods are not sufficient to undertake a survey of pathogens in sewage biosolids.

·        Hale: Concerns of the public and compliance.  The Walkerton Case raised this issue of failure in the process at various points.  How can this risk be taken into account?

·        Krogmann:  Not only non-compliance, but other non-technical issues should be addressed such as stakeholder perception and societal interactions. Characterizing organics in sewage biosolids.

·        Steenhuis: Long-term impact of land application.  Environmental justice.

·        Hay: Long-term EcoTox testing. A battery of tests should be used to assess changes, samples from field sites should be followed up by laboratory testing and interpretation should take land-use into account.

·        McDowell: Quantify transport of pathogens through groundwater and surface water. Assemble list of long-term study sites to establish known and documented sites.

·        Harrison: Interaction between chemical and pathogen exposures. 

·        Stehouwer:  Economic study of achieving the level of compliance the public will accept. Determine costs of achieving level of quality and compliance the public wants for land application and compare with landfilling or incineration options.


Are project objectives met and should this project be continued?

The outcomes meet project objectives.  However, it would be important that some joint publication be developed.  Starting point should be the unique characteristics of the Northeast that were discussed on the first day.  This will lead to recommendations specific to the Northeast.

If this project is continued it could be continued as a research project or as a coordinating committee.  Dan Decker and Ray Knighton explained the expectations for each option. From an USDA perspective the outcomes of a research project need to be equivalent to a 1 to 1 ½ million-dollar project.  The continuation as a coordinating committee would be easier, however, might keep some members from participating.  No decision was made.  This issue will be revisited during the next annual meeting.



1.      Murray McBride and Brian Richards will draft an extension-type publication on sample collection, analytical methods and laboratory variation.  The audience includes the general public, farmers and county extension staff.  Publication should include information on different methodologies used in different states. Note: NEC 167 is working on document about how to compare data gained with different methods.

2.      Ellen Harrison and Lauri Wellin will improve the website.  Extension publication in the Northeast will be cross-referenced and possibly abstracts of research articles will be posted. Lauri Wellin will collect extension information from university websites.  Uta Krogmann will write an introduction for the website.

3.      At next year's annual meeting a list of characteristics unique to the Northeast should be developed and recommendations for land application based on these recommendations should be discussed as a basis for a joint publication.  The characteristics unique for the Northeast should be compared with the characteristics used in the 40 CFR Part 503 regulations.  As preparation for this discussion necessary data should be collected during the year.  Each state should come with data to next year's meeting.  At the end of this year Uta Krogmann will initiate a round robin e-mailing regarding findings.  The following data are needed:

·        Soils (check 1985 Penn State publication, check Holmgren, each state need to check)

·        Groundwater hydrology

·        Farming systems/land uses (census data)

·        Wastewater treatment plants (H. Elliott will get information.)

·        Political, legal, economic and social issues

·        Population density


It was discussed that not all states in the Northeast participate in NE1001.  Missing are participants from Maryland, Delaware, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maine, Vermont, and W. Virginia.  It was suggested that Dan Decker could share an overview with the experiment station directors of the underrepresented states.


The 2004 meeting of NE1001 will be in Ithaca, NY at the Holiday Inn downtown.  The meeting will be scheduled after July 4th.



Meeting closed at 12:30pm





1.      Excerpts from the Approved NE1001 Project

2.      STP’s included in “Survey of Metals in STP Biosolids and Agricultural Soils”

3.      Pathogen Projects- UNH 2003-2004 (Bean and Margolin)

4.      Sustainable Land Application Conference Meeting Announcement University of Florida January 4-8, 2004 






Significant progress was made over the year in meeting the project objectives:


Objective 1: To evaluate the utilization of sewage biosolids in soil management in the Northeast by assessing the sustainability of soil quality, water quality and food safety (for people and other animals) where sewage biosolids are applied to agricultural land.


Project Progress: Research results for the following work were reported: Survey of Metals in STP Biosolids and Agricultural Soils - J. Hargreaves, U of Guelph; Organic Chemicals in Sewage Sludges, E. Harrison, Cornell; Molybdenum Extractability in Soils and Uptake by Alfalfa 20 years after Sewage Sludge Application - M. McBride, Cornell; Use of Hot 0.01 M CaCl2 Extractant to Determine Mo Availability and Uptake by Crops - R. Stehouwer, Penn State; Development of a Zinc-Contaminated Soil for Research - A. Barker, U. Mass.; EcoTox Testing - A. Hay, Cornell; Earthworm Response to Cornell’s Old Orchard - J. Smith, Cornell; Characterizing Microbial Communities in Sludge Amended Soils - J. Thies, Cornell; Nutrient and Trace Element Flux Following Surface Mine Reclamation with Biosolids - R. Stehouwer, Penn State; Biosolids Phosphorous: Issues and Emerging Strategies - H. Elliott, Penn State, Short and Long-term Trace Element Mobility - B. Richards, Cornell.



Objective 2: To evaluate the legal, social, and political aspects of long-term utilization of sewage sludge products in the Northeast and to identify modes of stakeholder participation in biosolids utilization decision-making.


Research results for the following work were reported: Integrating Development of Extension Materials and Formative Informal Evaluation: Land Application of Sewage Sludge as a Case Example” - U. Krogmann, Rutgers.



Objective 3: To develop appropriate outreach materials and educational events for the Northeast that links the current research to actual field management of sewage biosolids products in the Northeast.


Project Progress: Considerations for Diary Farms Regarding Use of Sewage Sludges, Sludge Products and Septage, E. Harrison, Cornell.





The research conducted in this project helps the agricultural community in the Northeast to make more informed decisions about land application of sewage biosolids taking the Northeast specific conditions into account.  For example, the research showed that more protective Mo standards and/or recommendations are needed for dairy farms with alkaline soils.




Barker, A.V. and G.M. Bryson. 2002. Bioremediation of heavy metals and organic toxicants by composting. The Scientific World 2:407-420.


Brandt, R.C., H.A. Elliott, and G.A. O’Connor. 2002. Comparative evaluation of water extractable P in biosolids and livestock manures. Proc.16th Annual Residuals and Biosolids Conference. March 3-6, 2002. Austin, TX.


Chu, F-L., A.K. Volety, R.C. Hale and Y. Huang.  2002.  Cellular responses and disease expression in oysters (Crassostrea virginica) exposed to field contaminated sediments. Mar. Envir. Res.  53:17-35.


Elliott, H.A., G.A. O’Connor, and S. Brinton. 2002. Phosphorus leaching from biosolids-amended sandy soils. J. Environ. Qual. 31:681-689.


Elliott, H.A., G.A. O’Connor, P. Lu and S. Brinton. 2002. Influence of water treatment residuals on phosphorus solubility and leaching.  J. Environ. Qual. 31: 1362-1369.


Hale, R.C. and M.J. La Guardia.  Have risks associated with the presence of synthetic organic contaminants in land-applied sewage sludges been adequately assessed? 2002. New Solutions: A Journal of Environmental and Occupational Health Policy 12:371-386.


Hale, R.C. Emerging Environmental Pollutants. Vignette for Fundamentals of Ecotoxicology. Second Edition.  M. Newman and M. Unger.  2002.  Lewis Publishers.


Hale, R.C., M.J. La Guardia, E. Harvey and T.M. Mainor.  2002. The potential role of fire retardant-treated polyurethane foam as a source of brominated diphenyl ethers to the US environment. Chemosphere 46:729-735.


Hale, R.C. and M.J. La Guardia. 2002. Emerging contaminants of concern in coastal and estuarine environments.  Chapter 3 in Risk Assessment in Coastal and Estuarine Environments. Ed. M.C. Newman, M.H. Roberts Jr. and R.C. Hale. pp. 41-72.


Hamlin, R.L., C. Schatz, and A.V. Barker. 2003. Zinc accumulation in Brassica juncea as influenced by nitrogen and phosphorus nutrition. J. Plant Nutrit. 26: 177-190.


Harrison, E.Z. and S. R. Oakes.  2002. Investigation of alleged health incidents associated with land application of sewage sludges. New Solutions: A Journal of Environmental and Occupational Health Policy 12:387-408.


Krogmann, U. and H.-N. Chiang. 2002. Selected nutrients and heavy metals in sewage sludge from New Jersey POTWs. JAWRA 38: 681-692.


Krogmann, U. and V. Gibson.  2002.  Integrating development of extension materials and formative informal evaluation: Land application of sewage sludge as a cCase eExample. J. of Extension  41,


La Guardia, M.J., R.C. Hale, E.P. Harvey, E.O. Bush, T.M. Mainor and M.O. Gaylor. 2003. Emerging chemicals of concern in biosolids. Proc. WEF/AWWA/CWEA Joint Residuals and Biosolids Management Conference, Baltimore, MD. Session 18.


Martinez, C.E., A.R. Jacobson and M.B. McBride. 2003. Aging and temperature effects on DOC and elemental release from a metal contaminated soil. Environ. Poll. 122: 135-143.


Martinez, C.E., M.B. McBride, M.T. Kandianis, J.M. Duxbury, S.-J. Yoon and W.F. Bleam. 2002. Zinc-sulfur and cadmium-sulfur association in metalliferous peats: Evidence from spectroscopy, distribution coefficients, and phytoavailability. Environ. Sci. Technol. 36: 3683-3689.


McBride, M. B., E. A. Nibarger, B. K. Richards and T. S. Steenhuis. 2003. Trace metal accumulation by red clover grown on sewage sludge-amended soils and correlation to Mehlich 3 and calcium chloride-extractable metals. Soil Sci. 168:29-38.


McBride, M.B. 2002. Cadmium uptake by crops estimated from soil total Cd and pH. Soil Sci. 167, 62-67.


McBride, M.B. and L.J. Evans. 2002. Trace metal extractability in soils and uptake by bromegrass 20 years after sewage sludge application. Can. J. Soil Sci. 82: 323-333.


McBride, M.B., E.A. Nibarger, B.K. Richards and T. Steenhuis. 2003. Trace metal accumulation by red clover grown on sewage sludge-amended soils and correlation to Mehlich 3 and calcium chloride-extractable metals. Soil Sci. 168: 29-38.


McBride, M.B. 2003. Cadmium concentration limits in agricultural soils: weaknesses in USEPA's risk assessment and the 503 rule. Human Ecol. Risk Assess. 9, 661-674.


Newman M.C., R.C. Hale and M.H. Roberts Jr.   2002.  Synthesis of concepts in ecological risk of coastal environments. Chapter 13 in Risk Assessment in Coastal and Estuarine Environments.  Ed. M.C. Newman, M.H. Roberts Jr. and R.C. Hale. pp. 327-336.


O’Brien, T.A., S.J. Herbert, and A.V. Barker. 2002. Growth of corn in varying mixtures of paper mill sludge and soil. Commun. Soil Sci. Plant Anal. 33:635-646.


O’Brien, T.A., S.J. Herbert, and A.V. Barker. 2003. Paper sludge as a soil amendment for production of corn. Commun. Soil Sci. Plant Anal. 34:2229-2241.


O’Connor, G.A., H.A. Elliott, and P. Lu. 2002. Characterizing water treatment residuals phosphorus retention. Soil Crop Sci. Soc. Florida. 61:67-73.


O’Connor, G.A. and H.A. Elliott. 2002. Co-application of biosolids and water treatment residuals. Transactions World Congress Soil Sci. Bangkok, Thailand. August 14-21.


O’Connor, G.A., H.A. Elliott, S.R. Brinton, and D. Sarkar. 2001.  Plant availability of biosolids-P. American Society of Agronomy, Charlotte, NC. October 21-25. Annual Mtg. Abstracts.


Pryor, S., A.G. Hay, and L. Walker. 2002. Nonylphenol in anaerobically digested sewage sludge from New York state.  Environ. Sci. Technol.  36:3678-3682.


Qureshi, S., B. K. Richards, A. G. Hay, C. C. Tsai, M. B. McBride, P. Baveye, and T. S. Steenhuis.  2003. Effect of microbial activity on trace element release from sewage sludge. In press, Environmental Science & Technology (ES&T web release date: June 26, 2003).


Roberts Jr., M.H., M.C. Newman and R.C. Hale.  2002.  Overview of ecological risk assessment in coastal and estuarine environments.  Chapter 1 in Risk Assessment in Coastal and Estuarine Environments.  Ed. M.C. Newman, M.H. Roberts Jr. and R.C. Hale. pp. 1-13.


Stehouwer, R.C., and K.E. Macneal. 2002. Use of yard trimmings compost for restoration of saline soil incineration ash. Comp. Sci. Util. 11(1):51-60.


Stehouwer, R.C. 2003. Land application of sewage sludge in Pennsylvania:

Effects of biosolids on soil and crop quality. Environmental Soil Issues, Penn n

State College of Agric. Sci., University Park, PA.


von Willert, F.J. and R.C. Stehouwer. 2003. Compost and calcium surface treatment effects on subsoil chemistry in acidic minespoil columns. J. Environ. Qual. 32:781-788.


von Willert, F.J. and R.C. Stehouwer. 2003. Compost, CaCO3, and gypsum effect s

on Ca and Al transport in acidic minespoil. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 67:778-786.


Womer, J., H.A. Elliott, R.C. Brandt. 2002. Determining P in biosolids using neutral ammonium citrate extraction. Proc.16th Annual Residuals and Biosolids Conf. March 3-6, 2002. Austin, TX.