Letter to the Editor of the Toledo Blade – published Sunday, October 27, 2013 – “More data needed on dredge facility”

The following was sent to and subsequently published in the October 27, 2013 edition of the Toledo Blade, with few edits by The Blade, and titled “More data needed on dredge facility”:

In the September 29, 2013 “guest column”, Port Authority Chairman William Carroll defended the Port’s sewage sludge management practices on Facility 3. This Port-managed facility is a dumping ground for polluted dredgings (the actual purpose of the island) and, pathogen-contaminated sludge from the City of Toledo’s sewage treatment plant (not the original purpose of this island).

Mr. Carroll argues that N-Viro International and others have made “unfair and untrue allegations” about the Facility’s management. He implies that all is well, that a facility designed from the ground up to decant water into the Maumee Bay is somehow squeaky clean even though it has accepted over 100,000 tons of contaminated sludge in just the last two years, and that the Port’s partner, S&L Fertilizer, is doing yeoman’s work finding legitimate uses for its Nu-Soil product.

I would invite Mr. Carroll to silence the critics once and for all by engaging readily available independent assessments, such as those offered in 2011 by The University of Toledo and rejected by Toledo and the Port, and answer the critics point by point. Why do the critics persist? What do the Port, City, and S&L have to hide?

What happens every time it rains on 70 acres of Facility 3 where the sludge is dumped? Where does the contaminated runoff go? Mr. Carroll claims Facility 3 passes muster. Really? What of the last two years and the last 100,000 tons of contaminated sludge being stockpiled? Excuses are offered but data is not.

Society complains about toxic algae in Lake Erie. Is Facility 3 partly to blame? Should residents be concerned that this practice is just two water-miles from Toledo’s water intake? Is it above-board, or just a leaky, unlined, unpermitted sludge landfill? The public deserves more than a condescending pat on the head.

Kindest Regards,

Timothy Kasmoch

CEO N-Viro International

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