Neil Zahradka is the Manager of the Office of Land Application Programs for the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality. "Land application" means spreading sewage sludge -- euphemistically called "biosolids" -- on soil. Zahradka is also the Virginia state contact for the National Biosolids Partnership of the Water Environment Federation, the sewage sludge industry's main trade, lobby and public relations organization.
Zahradka is a proponent of using sewage sludge on soil used to grow food. He told NPR in 2013 that it's hard to prove that "biosolids" are a significant source of contaminants. "These compounds are ubiquitous in the environment -- in the soil, water, within our bodies. So the question is: If it's in the biosolids, then is that a problem?" he asked. And he contended that "composting" -- mixing raw sewage with mulch and allowing the pile to heat up -- eliminates contaminants. But sewage sludge contains many hazardous chemicals that could not be mitigated by what the industry refers euphemistically to as a "composting" process. See Scientific Studies of Sewage Sludge for more.
Manager, Office of Land Application Programs
Virginia Department of Environmental Quality
629 E. Main Street
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218-1105
Telephone: (804) 698-4102
Fax: (804) 698-4116
Email: nrzahradka AT deq DOT virginia DOT gov
Articles and Resources
Related SourceWatch Resources
- Sewage sludge
- You say biosolids, I say sewage sludge
- Water Environment Federation
- Scientific Studies of Sewage Sludge
- Sludge contaminants
Related PRWatch Articles
- Sara Jerving, New Toxic Sludge PR and Lobbying Effort Gets Underway, PRWatch.org, March 16, 2012.
- Rebekah Wilce, Sludge Industry Reveals "Resource Recovery" Spin, PRWatch.org, December 15, 2011.
- Richardson, Would You "Like" Sewage Sludge on Facebook, PRWatch.org, September 12, 2011.
- John Stauber, Gavin Newsom Hopes to Leave His Sludge in San Francisco, PRWatch.org, July 27, 2010.
- John Stauber, Chez Sludge: How the Sewage Sludge Industry Bedded Alice Waters, PRWatch.org, July 9, 2010.
- John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton, A R.O.S.E. by Any Other Name, PRWatch, Third Quarter 1995, Volume 2, No. 3.
- Neil Zahradka, LinkedIn.com, online career profile, accessed May 2013.
- Water Environment Federation, Region 3: Virginia State Contacts, organizational website, accessed May 2013.
- Eliza Barclay, Is It Safe To Use Compost Made From Treated Human Waste?, NPR "The Salt" blog, May 12, 2013.
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