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Sludge Storm: Conference Organizers Want Biosolids Out of Nova Scotia

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Toxic Sludge & Organic Compost  page, and our Canada News page.

Learning that kiln-baked sewage sludge, also known as "biosolids", is being marketed and sold across Nova Scotia as fertilizer, came as a shock to Lil MacPherson. MacPherson owns The Wooden Monkey, a Halifax restaurant that emphasizes local, seasonal and organic ingredients.

"I'm out there, trying my best, through the restaurant, to promote local foods, and promote sustainable agriculture," says MacPherson. "Then all of a sudden I get this news, that we're using seriously toxic sewage sludge spread throughout Nova Scotia, which eventually goes through our food system, and I was horrified."

MacPherson was troubled that much of Halifax didn't know what happened to their waste once it went "flush." Looking to plunge Haligonians into the light, she and long-time friend Ellen Page are staging an event coined The Nova Scotia Soil Conference, on March 13, 2011.

The purpose of the conference is to discuss whether Halifax Regional Municipality's (HRM) baked sludge is safe for soil application of any kind. A wide range of speakers will be on hand, including internationally renowned microbiologist, and US Environmental Protection Agency whistle-blower, Dr David Lewis, as well as President of Minas Basin Pulp and Power, Scott Travers. Travers is slated to discuss the potential for energy extraction from sludge.

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