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EPA approves Arizona's sewage sludge program

Release Date: 4/1/2004
Contact Information: Wendy L. Chavez, (415) 947-4248

SAN FRANCISCO -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today approved Arizona's application to administer its sewage sludge management program under the federal Clean Water Act.

Arizona becomes the sixth state to have regulatory authority over the sewage sludge program.

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality will have regulatory authority over land application, surface disposal, and placement of sewage sludge in municipal landfills.

"This approval puts the program in the hands of those most familiar with the environmental issues and the people of the state," said Alexis Strauss, the EPA's Water Division director for the Pacific Southwest region. "The EPA is confident that the state will do a great job administering the program."

The program imposes requirements on wastewater treatment plants, composters, sewage sludge land appliers, and surface disposal site operators. ADEQ will also be responsible for issuing permits under certain conditions, enforcing standards, and providing guidance and technical assistance to the regulated community.

The state is requiring land appliers to register fields where sewage sludge is applied with the agency prior to application. State rules prohibit incineration of sewage sludge.

The agency's approval of the state's sewage sludge program will not affect Indian country. The EPA will continue to implement and administer the wastewater discharge permits program on tribal land.

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