Biosolids Committee Makes Recommendations to Protect Water Resources

Florida Farm Bureau represented agriculture in a seven-member Biosolids Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) formed by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection in August 2018.

The TAC also included stakeholders representing environmental groups, large and small utilities, waste haulers, university researchers and consultants.

The TAC convened five times from Sept. 2018 to Jan. 2019. The TAC was charged with answering the following questions: 1) What are the options for biosolids management in the state?  2) How can biosolids management be improved to ensure the environment is protected? 3) What research is needed to improve biosolids management?

General and technical presentations provided information on biosolids permitting, new technologies and environmental challenges relating to the land application of biosolids.

Based on the deliberation of the TAC and public comments, the following recommendations were made to improve the management of biosolids:

  • Modify the permitting process to minimize the impact on surrounding waterbodies
  • Increase the frequency of inspections
  • Develop site-specific groundwater monitoring protocol
  • Conduct more field scale research on land application rates of biosolids and nutrient management
  • Promote innovative pilot projects for biosolids processing that have the potential to be implemented on a larger scale

The TAC disbanded on Jan. 23, 2019, and the FDEP is currently taking the recommendations into consideration for further implementation. For additional information on the Biosolids TAC meetings, visit the FDEP website.