It is important to note that Indiana HB 1112 was signed by the Present of the Senate after passing through the House of Representatives.  Little do you realize, this bill was created by Steel Dynamics Inc. (SDI) and presented to Rep. Win Moses, but he turned it down because it was not good for the people’s health in Indiana…it was good for large corporations.  Phyllis Pond, however sponsored this bill and it was supported by Bob Morris.  Indianapolis Star reported this bill will allow Steel Dynamics to use its industrial waste as land compost material.
So how would SDI benefit from this bill?  This bill, basically means industrial waste can now be spread on land as an “amendment.”
Amended soil is a material added to soil to improve plant growth and health. A conditioner or a combination of conditioners corrects the soil’s deficiencies in structure and-or nutrients to improve soil fertility. SO this means that the department will allow the use of industrial waste products in a land application operation or as ingredients in a soil amendment or soil substitute on the same basis as other materials under the rules concerning land application and marketing and distribution permits.” I am concerned it is making “amended soil” (aka better soil) out of industrial waste. Industrial waste is the key word here anyway.  NOW WASTE FROM FACTORIES/INDUSTRY/CAFO’s /CORPORATIONS…ANYTHING….are SELLING the waste back to us and selling it as SAFE and legitimate.
To recap ~ The waste from steel operations (et al.) is illegal to discharge into the air or the water, but will legally apply it to land to make the soil amended! GENIUS!
My concern is that it runs off into surface water or seeps into groundwater. There are so few protections and even less enforcement of current law.  So this opens up the discussion of what is this “material to be land applied against the risks to human health and the environment.” WHO decides what is safe to humans and the environment? The industry that is selling our waste back to us?
The EPA took what it called a “risk-based” approach to regulating the 10 heavy metals–including lead, cadmium, zinc, mercury, and copper–it found most frequently in the late 1980s national survey. (Chromium was later deleted due to scant evidence for its toxicity, so part 503 now regulates nine metals.) The EPA postulated 14 pathways by which each metal could move from the biosolids into a person, plant, or animal. Then the agency determined which pathway would be most hazardous, and used that to set the lifetime soil “loading rate” for each metal. When the loading rate is reached, biosolids applications must cease.  This bill appears to have the trump card because the language makes a blanket statement to “INDUSTRIAL waste” that is more than just what you flush down your toilet.  Where is the heavily funded oversight is taking land samples across Indiana after it is indiscriminately applied to land?  Well IDEM has said they are underfunded and the EPA has been cut significantly; our ONLY 2 regulators of industry.
“Indiana releases the greatest amount of toxic chemicals into waterways, releasing over 27 million pounds in one year.”  So now we are going to take the waste and sell it back to us as amended soil?
As voters, tax-payers and clean water advocates, Save Maumee believes this is another failed attempt at oversight of sneaky industry and their strong lobby money.  Pollution does not understand partisanship.  It should disgust you too.
Abigail King spoke to Phyllis Pond at Friends of the River Lecture in July 2011.  Mrs. Pond stated, “My concern is when there is too much added to the soil, it can be hazardous.” ~ WELL YOU SPONSORED IT Mrs. Pond!
This bill passed and will go into effect on July 1, 2012.