Do you want Industrial Sludge dumped in and near Goochland ??!!

By at November 12, 2014 | 7:14 pm | Print

They’re planning on dumping Industrial Sludge near you and they hope you don’t notice.  If you do notice, they hope you won’t care.

You need to notice

You need to care

We have just recently become aware of an alarming issue that will impact Goochland, Hanover, New Kent, Surry, King & Queen, Prince George, and King William counties.

Here is the bottom line:

The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is in the final process of deciding on a permit (VPA00584) to approve SYNAGRO Central, LLC to spread sludge in Goochland, and 6 other surrounding counties, which would include applying this industrial sludge to more than 16,000 acres (covering 322 fields) of land allowing a 10 year span for dumping this waste.   Part of this 10 year permit is for land located here in Goochland (see this PDF map).

The industrial sludge will come from three plants in the area: Tyson’s Foods in Glen Allen, Smithfield Foods in Smithfield, and the Rock Tenn paper mill in West Point, and will be applied at 1-2 dry tons per acre of land.  As for wet tons, Smithfield would be 15-30 tons per acre, Rock Tenn would at 15-30 tons per acre, and Tyson at 6-15 tons per acre.

DEQ reports some of the chemical composition of this industrial sludge includes copper, lead, aluminum, mercury, arsenic and other carcinogens.   While DEQ and other advocates of the product state there is overwhelming evidence showing decades of usage of sludge with no negative effects to the environment, wildlife, or health of those around it, others against the usage of this sludge say it’s toxic, causes health problems, and is detrimental to the environment.

If the extremely offensive odor and the swarm of flies that it attracts isn’t enough to concern you, then the heavy metal content of the industrial sludge and the potential threat of contamination to shallow wells and waterways should outrage people.

Several of us from Goochland and other counties attended a standing room only public meeting with the DEQ and Water Control Board at Innsbrook on Thursday, Oct. 23 in opposition to the Synagro permit to dump industrial sludge.  The citizen testimonies and outcries in opposition to this permit were very factual and alarming.  Several personal testimonies included cases of health issues and even death after being exposed to industrial sludge.  Second to the health issues, the main concerns included the potential threat of contamination to shallow wells and waterways and lack of testing and monitoring by the DEQ.

In addition to the concerns with the industrial sludge adversely affecting the public and the environment, there are major concerns with Synagro. There have been several cases alleging neglect, mishandling of products, and violations by Synagro in the past.  Most recent violations include, a lawsuit was filed against the company alleging that the company was illegally dumping chemicals, violating antipollution laws, and illegally ran waste disposal at the plant located in Houston, Texas.  In addition, in 2012, residents noticed the product in tributaries going into the rivers in Essex, Fauquier and Goochland.  DEQ officials found this to be a violation and the State Water Control Board fined Synagro $65,000. The company paid a $16,250 fine and agreed to a two-year environmental study on this problem.

Synagro filed for bankruptcy in April of last year, after defaulting on debt. The company was sold to private-equity firm EQT Infrastructure II LP in August of last year.  Please do your own homework.  Refer to article: There are numerous web sites: Just type in Synagro or visit
The Goochland County Board of Supervisors submitted a Letter of Request to the DEQ stating they would like to have a better understanding of the components of this industrial sludge as well as assurance of better testing and monitoring.  They have requested industrial sludge not be land applied until further research, similar to the JLARC biosolids studies conducted in 2005 and 2008 be conducted, and industry-specific regulatory standards be developed and implemented, and on-going testing and monitoring protocols be established.

The State Water Control Board will make their final ruling on this permit on December 11, 2014.

While public comment technically closed November 7th, public opinion, when properly informed is a force to be reckoned with.

If this issue concerns you, and we hope it does, please submit your comments to one or all of the following and include your name and address
Be sure to refer to Permit #VPA00584 for Synagro Central, LLC


Seth Mullins
4949-A Cox Road
Glen Allen, VA  23060
Phone: 804-527-5132
Fax: 804-527-5106


Mr. Michael Murphy, Regional Director
Virginia Department of Environmental Quality
4949-A Cox Road
Glen Allen, VA  23060
Phone: 804-527-5053
Fax: 804-527-5106


Mr. Robert Dunn, Chairman
State Water Control Board
4105 Millwood Road
Chester, VA  23831


Letter to Editor
Richmond Times Dispatch
300 E. Franklin St.
Richmond, VA  23219

Local State

Related Posts