The Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment is wrapping
up consultation on its proposed Canada-wide Approach for the
Management of Wastewater Biosolids. The policy is intended to
encourage the "beneficial use and sound management of valuable
resources in municipal biosolids, municipal sludge and treated
septage."The policy proposes that beneficial uses should be
based on sound management that includes:
? Substantiation of the resource value (efficacy)
? Adherence to federal, provincial and municipal standards and
? Strategies to minimize potential risks to the environment and
human health and
minimizing emissions of greenhouse gases.
The Draft Supporting Principles are:
1. Municipal biosolids contain valuable nutrients and organic
matter that can be recycled.
2. Adequate source reduction and treatment of municipal sludge,
and treated septage
should effectively reduce pathogens, vector attraction, odours and
substances of concern
in municipal biosolids.
3. Beneficial use of municipal sludge and treated septage should
minimize the net
greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) resulting from treatment processes
4. Beneficial uses and sound management practices of municipal
biosolids and treated
septage must adhere to all applicable safety, quality and
management standards and
The proposed policy seems to assume that sewage biosolids can be
land applied, without causing adverse effects, if existing laws and
standards are followed. It does include some evaluation of emerging
substances of concern, such as pharmaceuticals, but lacks a clear
framework for avoiding the land application of biosolids near
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