Land Application of Sludge – Uxbridge

UXBRIDGE Board of Health



Article XVII


1.0 Authority

By virtue of the authority granted to the Town of Uxbridge Board of Health under the provisions of the M.G.L. c.lll, s.31, the following regulations regarding the Land Application of Orqanic Material in the Town of Uxbridge are hereby promulgated.

2.0 Purpose

The following regulation is intended to protect the public health, safety, welfare and the environment and to ensure that the land application of organic material in the Town of Uxbridqe follows appropriate notification and approval procedures through the Board of Health. Furthermore, this regulation is intended to insure that the land application of organic material is carried out in a safe and consistent manner.

Presently, land application of organic material can occur on private land with owner(s) approval and without notification or approval by the Town of Uxbridge. The application of such material may present one or more of the following hazards:

  1. Although organic material may not be land applied if it meets the criteria of a hazardous waste, such criteria change quickly. The toxicity of heavy metals, pesticides, PCB’s, antibiotics, solvents, petroleum products and other potentially toxic substances should be considered in light of current knowledge.
  1. Application of orqanic material needs review in light of local conditions such as adjacent land use, local topography, changing knowledge concerning aquifer location, floodplains, etc. Local conditions may not be addressed by existing state or federal regulations.
  1. Organic material may possess a health risk due to its pathogenic content and its potential to spread disease
  1. Orqanic material may potentially endanger the public health by causing infestation by insects or rodents or by producing nox1ous odors.


3.0 Definitions

Board refers to the Board of Health of the Town cf Uxbridqe.

Com~Qsted Qrganic Mate~rial means anY organic material which has underqone a compostinq process.

Composting (or diqestinq) means the bioloqical process by which microorganisms break down and utilize organic matter.


310 CMR 32.~0 means Regulations for the Land Application of Sludqe and Septage, under the Department of Environmental Protection of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.


EPA means United States Environmental Protection Agency.


Hazardous Waste means any waste that bears one or more of the characteristics of flammability, corrosivity, reactivity, or toxicity as defined in 40 Code of Federal Regulations Part 261, Subpart C.


Land Application means fertilizing or amending soil by: (a) applying to the surface of soil by spreading, sprayinq, or other similar means, and/or (b) mixing or working into the soil or beneath the surface of the soil within the root zone of the crop by harrowing, plowing, rototilling, injecting, or other similar means.


Landfilling means the permanent disposal of any organic material by stockpiling, buryinq, or placing in lagoons.


Long-term storaqe shall be defined, according to 310 CMR 32.31, as storaqe for more than forty-two t42) consecutive days within a six (6) month period of time.


Orqanic Material refers to: a) sludge, septage, or any material resulting from burning or other treatment of sludge or septage; b) any orqanic by-product or wasteproduct resulting from an agricultural or industrial process such as: the manufacturinq of paper, cloth, clothing, or lumber; the processing of food; the slaughter of animals; or c) any other process which results in a material which may be suitable for land application.


Septage means the liquid, solid, or semi-solid contents of privies, chemical toilets, cesspools, holding tanks, or other sewage waste receptacles. For purpose of this bylaw, the term “septage” does not include any material which is hazardous waste pursuant to 310 CMR 30.000.


Sludge means any solid, semi-solid, or liquid residue that results from a process Oc municipal wastewater treatment or drinking water treatment.


TGLP means Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Properties.


4 . Applicability

4.1 General Land application of any organic material, composted or non-composted, must meet the criteria set forth in these regulations. The land application of composted sludge must meet the criteria for Approval of Suitability pursuant to 310 CMR 32.00 as well as the criteria set forth in these regulations.

4.2 Prohibitions. No land application of any organic material in the Town of Uxbridge will be approved by the Board of Health if it meets the definition of a hazardous waste. The landfilling of any organic material is prohibited. The long-term storage of any organic material must be approved in writing by the Board of Health. The land application of septage is prohibited.

4.3 Exemptions. The following are exempt from these regulations: a) Food wastes or agricultural wastes generated by a residence or a small scale farming operation, when such wastes are generated and disposed of within the boundaries of such residence or farm. b) Manures produced as part of a normal farming operation, if the manures are stored and land applied in a manner consistent with good management practices and in a manner which will minimize pollution of air, water or other natural resources and which will minimize infestation by insects or rodents. c) Leaf and yard materials such as deciduous and coniferous seasonal deposition, grass clippings, weeds, hedge clippings, and garden materials.

5.0 Obtaining and Keeping an Approval of Suitability

Any land owner who wishes to land apply organic material in the Town of Uxbridge must meet the following conditions prior to final approval by the Board:

5.1 The owner of the land in question must file an application for Approval of Suitabilitv with the Board of Health.

5.2 The sampling of composted organic material for analysis must be witnessed by a Board member or designee, when the Board so requests, at any stage of the composting process including sampling of the final product.

5.3 All analysis of any organic material shall be performed by a state certified laboratory and shall conform to EPA approved or standard analytical methods. All analytical data shall be submitted to the Board.

5.4 Sampling and analysis shall take place at least six months before the application referred to in 5.1 is filed. Frequency of sampling and analysis shall take place in accordance with the schedules outlined in 310 CMR 32.00, unless otherwise specified by the Board upon review of lab results of composted material.

5.5 The Board may consult, at the applicant’s expense, a Professional Engineer registered in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, approved of or chosen by the Board. Said Engineer shall provide the following:

  1. A site assessment of the designated area that is to receive the organic material. This site assessment will identify potential environmental or health problems relevant to the designated or surrounding areas. Said assessment will take into account the following: the location of homes, private and public wells, wetlands, bodies of water, and aquifers; soil and groundwater profiles; wildlife habitat; flood plains; any other factors deemed relevant by the Board.


  1. A review of the applicant’s management plan that defines areas of land application, volumes of material, time frame of each application, and future use of the land to be applied, including a specific listing of crops or vegetation to be grown.


  1. Any other work the Board deems relevant to the Approval of Suitability.


5.6 Within 45 days of the receipt of the data required in section 5.5, a public hearin~ shall be held by the Board to review the application. Notice shall be qiven in accordance with M.G.L. chapter 111 and shall include publication in a local newspaper and notification of all parties to be listed on the permit.


6.O Final Approval


If, upon review of all relevant material submitted to the Board under 5.0, the Application of Suitability is approved, a permit will be issued to the applicant that will have a duration of 2 years.


The permit shall be issued to the owner of the land to receive the organic material. The permit shall include:


  1. The name and address of the applicant (the legal owner of the land.


  1. The name and address of any individuals or legal entities who will perform any work related to the land application process.


  1. A list of: a) abutters within 2500 feet of the proposed site perimeters, and b) abutters to abutters within 500 feet of the proposed site perimeters. The list shall be compiled from records maintained by the Board of Assessors of the Town.


  1. The frequency of the submission of a status report and its contents, both of which will be determined by the Board based upon the nature of the material, the site assessment, and the management plan.


  1. Any other conditions which must be adhered to for the permit to remain valid.


6.1 Revocation, of Permit


The Board may at anytime revoke the approved permit if conditions outlined under 5.0 are not met or if any other conditions ordered within the permit are violated. The Board may also revoke the permit if any other activity involved in the land application process is found to constitute a public nuisance or to endanger the public health.


7.0 Non-Conforming Uses


Non-conforming uses which are lawfully existing may be continued. Such non-conforming uses may be extended or altered only upon approval of the Board of Health.


8.0 Accountability


Land application of any organic material shall not commence until security by surety bond, cash, or other approved method is provided to insure that said land application will be carried out in accordance with these regulations and the conditions of the permit. The security may be drawn upon if the land application process results in creation of a public nuisance or danger to the public health, whether or not the permit has expired. The amount of such security shall be determined by the Board and based upon the nature of the material to be land applied, the site assessment, and the management plan. Said security shall be assigned to or bear the name of the Town of Uxbridge. Said security shall be released by the Town of Uxbridge one year after the land application process s completed or whenever the designated crops are well established, whichever is longer.


9.0 Severability


It is hereby declared that the provisions of this Board of Health regulation are severable, and if any provision hereof or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect other provisions which can be given affect without the invalid provisions or application.