NSW EPA seeks feedback on biosolids management

water treatment plant

New South Wales Environment Protection Authority (NSW EPA) is consulting with stakeholders as part of the Biosolids Regulatory Review.

The review aims to develop new rules around the use of biosolids while ensuring human and environmental safety.

Biosolids are an organic waste product generated from sewage at wastewater treatment plants. Nutrient and carbon rich, biosolids can be applied to land to improve soil fertility. At least half of all biosolids in New South Wales are used on agricultural land.

Tony Chappel, NSW EPA Chief Executive Officer, said there was a growing body of evidence about potential risks associated with contaminants in biosolids.

“It’s essential that we continue to adapt our approach to accommodate new learnings,” Chappel said. “As our knowledge around quality requirements and risk grows, it’s clear that our regulatory settings need to evolve too.

“Our review includes assessment of known and emerging chemicals of concern. We’ve reviewed research from around the world and tailored it to be relevant for the New South Wales context.

“Biosolids are a valued resource, and the EPA will continue to work with all stakeholders to ensure their beneficial, safe and sustainable use.”

The EPA started the review in response to new scientific knowledge around potential risks associated with the application of biosolids to land, including new knowledge of emerging contaminants such as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and other chemicals of concern.

Stakeholder engagement has been key to the review process, with both a Stakeholder Committee and a Regulatory Committee established. Now the EPA is inviting all stakeholders to have their say in developing the new regulatory approach.

The EPA is consulting with stakeholders, including local government, utilities, the farming/agriculture sector, the biosolids industry, technology and research providers, transporters, small business and community to build a modernised regulatory approach for biosolids.

For more information, visit: here.

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