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Ceretto, Cliffe rip DEC over biosolids regulation

WHEATFIELD – Assemblyman John D. Ceretto and Wheatfield Supervisor Robert B. Cliffe took the state Department of Environmental Conservation to task Tuesday over its attempt to make a last-minute change in regulations on the use of biosolids on farm fields.

As was revealed at a July 28 public hearing on the town’s ban on the use or storage of biosolids in Wheatfield, the DEC asserted that it accidentally left out “silty clay loam” from the list of soil types on which it would permit the spreading of biosolids, such as “equate,” Quasar Energy Group’s term for the byproduct resulting from anaerobic digestion of food waste and sewage sludge at its Wheatfield plant.

Wheatfield has plenty of silty clay loam. The DEC’s effort to allow spreading equate there drew heavy scorn at the hearing, and is deemed illegal by Ceretto and Cliffe. “Anyone who attempts to spread biosolids in Wheatfield will be prosecuted under our local law, even if they have a permit from the DEC,” Cliffe said.

He and Ceretto also criticized the DEC’s refusal to disclose the locations where it is considering more biosolids spreading permits. The DEC did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday.