Shreder calls the proposed standards a "good start" but says they don't go far enough. During the recent hearing, the Washington Toxics Coalition and Washington Public Research Interest Group called on the EPA to ban toxic waste in fertilizer, starting with the wastes containing dioxin.
They also asked EPA to eliminate loopholes giving special treatment to steel-mill and mining wastes. They want EPA to require labeling and reporting, as well as a tracking system for all wastes going into fertilizer.
Among those calling for tougher standards were four doctors from the Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility, and representatives from March of Dimes; Puget Consumer Co-op; League of Women Voters; Diocese of Olympia and Lutheran Public Policy Office; Seattle Audubon; and Washington Sustainable Food and Farming Network.
Lynn Sheridan, who works in the state Agriculture Department's fertilizer registration division, said those testifying "definitely raised some good points."
When asked if Washington state's new fertilizer regulations are helping reduce levels of recycled by-products in fertilizers, Sheridan said they have.
Nevertheless, Sheridan said scientists still don't know "the fate" of heavy metals in fertilizers.
"Where will they end up -- in the soil, the dust, the water, the air?" she said. "We really don't know."
Questions like this are driving the research on this topic, she said.
Comments about EPA's proposed fertilizer rules can be sent to:
Christine T. Whitman
1101A, US EPA Headquarters
Ariel Rios Bldg.,
120 Pennsylvania Avenue
NW, Washington, D. C. 20480
Comments accepted through February 2002
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