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Talkback: What readers say online about …

…  Farmers largely in favor of sludge

It’s interesting to see arguments such as this develop. People who are normally 110 percent proponents of property rights suddenly sing a different tune when they become NIMBY’s (Not In My Back Yard). They hear that the material was originally sewage, and they immediately are opposed and point out every potential valid concern and stand firm with it, even when the concern is addressed.

For example, they are concerned about PCBs. Very valid, but I think CMUD self-detecting PCBs this past spring shows that they already check for that contamination and I remember the media buzz when CMUD had done-so and was trying to determine the source. If memory serves, they had CMPD investigating to determine if there was illegal dumping going on.

As the old saying goes, “I don’t have a dog in this fight.” But it is an interesting debate taking place.

— Eric Shock

Eric, it is apparent that you or your family members do not live in close proximity to a property where this sewage will be applied. I’m sure you get your water from a municipal water supply and not from a well where you do not have to worry about the heavy metals and run-off getting into your drinking, bathing and clothes washing water like I do. You should have a dog in this fight because the next permit approved for sewage dumping might be for the property next door to you.

— André Bergeron

Human waste from normal, healthy humans is not a problem. But sewage sludge is anythig but “pure” human manure from healthy humans. It contains everything that goes down the drain, from toxic chemicals to urine from chemo patients to household cleaners to you name it. A recent article I found (after reading this post) mentioned that one city landfilled several thousand tons of “biosolids” due to the presence of PCBs in the material. I don’t know what the answer is when it comes to the question “what do we do with this stuff?” but growing food with it is not the answer, not now and not in the future.

— Michael La Belle

All of the fertilizer sources you listed are animals. Last I checked, animals didn’t excrete pharmaceuticals, hepatitis, ebola or have hospitals with constant excretion of radioactive chemicals from cancer patients and the above mentioned or worse, superbugs. Also, I was unable to find where animals had industrial operations, laboratories or funeral homes, so that wouldn’t be in the sludge. Is this making sense to you?

— Lance Riley

Have you ever been close to a field that has had the sewage put on it? They say it’s safe but you can smell it miles away; it is a horrible smell. I have been on a farm all my life. Nothing has a odor like that does. You could have a skunk tied to your neck and still gag on the sewage smell.

— Lewis Comer

I know stench; I lived in Iowa for two years. When the farmers cleaned out the hog barns and loaded it on the spreaders in the spring, you did not drive with windows rolled down.

— Blaine Gorney

I think part of the problem is a lack of trust regarding DENR these days after the Duke Power “ash pond failures” and the contaminated wells at these sites. CMUD is self-monitoring this farmland. I presume SRU is doing the same thing? What happens if the utility accidentally dumps PCB on your land? Does the utility buy the land or otherwise compensate the farmer and leave us with a rural “super-fund” site? This was a good article. It needs more follow-up.

— Todd Paris

Sludge had not been used as fertilizer for thousands of years. It didn’t even exist until sewage treatment plants were built and 21st century urban sludges contain not only feces and urine, but toxic industrial chemical compounds that didn’t even exist several decades ago. Experts have identified land applied sludge as probably the most pollutant-rich waste created in the 21st century.

Once N.C farmers learn what sludge really is and what it does to their land, water, livestock and health, they will join the the growing number of land owners and farmers who refuse to use this contaminated waste as a fertilizer.

— Caroline Snyder

The risk includes but is not limited to obesity, cancer, hypertension, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, senile dementia, autism, Parkinson’s disease, inflammatory bowel disease, intestinal infections, hepatitis C, end stage renal disease, kidney failure, thyroid cancer, liver cancer, bladder cancer, pancreatic cancer, kidney cancer.

Farmers have been warned and if they continue to contaminate food and water they are little more than stupid and irresponsible.

— Craig Monk

… Root of a problem

When the Democrats held both houses of Congress and the presidency and were passing any bill they wanted (without any Republican support at all), there was a loud cry from the left for Congress to pass an immigration/amnesty bill. But Democrats feared the election results that would come from this, so they decided to wait. They knew that Obama would, when the time was right (after an election, of course), unilaterally change the current law to suit his own agenda. This was unconstitutional, and therefore, as I see it, an illegal power grab.

— Steve Pender

Immigration issues the U.S. has been grappling with are not a new thing, (and it is not even just a decades old thing). The U.S. took major steps in the 1920s, under Calvin Cooledge, specifically to curtail Mexican, Japanese and Eastern European immigration to the U.S. So we have been grappling with border policy, and immigration issues through both parties, for at least 95 years. In fact, the U.S. has been dealing with imigration reform since at least the1870s. Although it was mostly Chinese and Catholics then. Illegal immigration occurs because Immigration reform has restricted legal immigration by a group.

— Axel Tavastia

It is not just perceived that we promise them a better economic climate and thank god we do. The American people need to learn to realize how much we have and appreciate it instead of turning into a nation of complainers as we have.

— Ralph Walton

… Help North Rowan Middle reach its goal

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if schools were properly funded to “sponsor activities and fulfill needs” so that you didn’t have to work this hard?

— Cathy Mahaffey

This article puts a face on a tragic story that’s happening all around us, but the last line turns an important story into an anti-Obama political statement (a very weak one, I might add). Human trafficking and global warming are not mutually exclusive. Veteran affairs and immigration reform are not mutually exclusive. Eating pizza does not mean we don’t also eat hotdogs.

— Kathy Vestal</div>

… Local leaders, police chief hope Salisbury citizens don’t react in violence

God is in the consciences of each individual and I think when a person violates the law, he has to pay for his mistake. I believe Mr. Brown committed a crime and this is the consequence. Uniting in prayers is the answer. God will be ultimate judge.

— Maria Peer

Death penalty for (accused) shoplifters? Without the benefit of trial? Really?

— Ron Turbyfill

Why is this even an issue? Nothing like blowing on embers to fan a flame when there’s no need for fire. Salisbury has more than enough problems without interjecting those of another community. … Why must everything be about race? When I shop I care about price, quality and customer service, regardless of the ethnic makeup of the storekeeper.

— Stacey Bostwick



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