— The state Department of Natural Resources will take to the public
interim rules that would govern the spreading of PCB-tainted soils
on farm fields.
The proposed package would identify maximum annual rates of
application, testing requirements and prevention measures for the
spreading of soils tainted with PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls.
The rules would apply to sewerage sludge, industrial sludge and
other solid wastes currently spread in Wisconsin.
The interim rules would not apply to PCB-tainted soils dredged
from the Green Bay harbor and stored at the Bay Port Dredge Material
PCBs once were used by paper mills along the Fox River and
released into the water.
About 98 percent of wastewater treatment plants use land
spreading, and no criteria exist on how much of the sediment may be
spread, said Kevin Kessler of the DNR’s Air & Waste Management
“We discovered that all sewerage sludge contains a certain amount
of PCBs,” Kessler said. “Humans contain and excrete PCBs.”
The rules propose an annual amount of PCBs spread at 1,200
milligrams per acre of land used to graze or grow food for humans
and 2,500 milligrams per acre of nonagricultural land.
As interim rules, the package would be reviewed for changes once
the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency acts on applicable sludge
regulations. Most PCBs would not be covered under the federal