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Support the sludge ban 


On March 23, the County Board of Supervisors will consider prohibiting spreading sewage sludge and composts containing it on open-space lands. This prohibition is Policy OS 2.4 in the Open Space chapter of the Conservation and Open Space Element (COSE), recommended unanimously by the Planning Commission. It is based on permanent ordinances proposed by the county over the past six years, which effectively ban sewage sludge land application on open-space land by restricting it to agriculturally zoned land.

 The basis for this ban is that the county considers unmanaged spreading of sewage sludge on open-space lands to be waste disposal, and more dangerous than controlled application of the plant nutrients and contaminants in sewage sludge on agricultural lands.

 An analysis of, and debate about, applying sewage sludge on agricultural land used for food and feed and grazing animals will ensue when the county subjects its draft permanent ordinance to an EIR review.

 Although the effect of the COSE OS 2.4 probation is minimal, because the extent of land designated as open space is small compared to that designated agricultural, sewage sludge generators are adamantly opposed to it. Joining local sewage plant managers, the Sacramento-based sewage plant lobby is fighting OS 2.4.

 Those opposed to unmanaged spreading of sewage sludge on our lands are encouraged to communicate their support for COSE OS 2.4 to the SLO County Board of Supervisors before their March 23 hearing.  For more information, contact the Center for Sludge Information at

-- David Broadwater - Atascadero

-- David Broadwater - Atascadero

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