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Lehigh Valley town pays for fertillzers, hopes to keep sludge out

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In an effort to stop farmers from using human waste sludge as fertilizer, called biosolids, Upper Mount Bethel Township has agreed to pay for other types of fertilizer and lime to prevent the locals from using this product.

Class B biosolids, nutrient rich fertilizer made from human waste that contains traces of pathogens, unlike the Class A counterpart, can be obtained for free. Bethel Township has a permit from the Pennsylvania Departmental of Environmental Protection to use the sludge on any leased farm land from the county

Residents of the town, just want to make sure that sludge is kept out of the community, but realized that getting a legal ban on sludge would be an uphill battle. Previous attempts at this type of ban were shot down, years earlier.

The Township's Board of Supervisors, rather than attempting litigation and incur lawyer fees, thought a different approach was the best way to handle and soothe the situation. The board voted to pay for fertilizer and lime for any farmer that applied for it.The money to pay for the non-sludge products will be taken from the township's general fund,. Cost are estimated to be around $60,000.

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