Chipper Hervieux Feb 17, 2000
Department of Ecology
Hazardous Waste and Toxics Reduction Program (HWTR)
PO Box 47600
Olympia WA 98504-7600
RE: Comments on Chapter 173-303 WAC
Dear M. Hervieux;
The following comments apply to the proposed amendments to Chapter 173-303 WAC,
Section 505 , entitled Fertilizer Amendments.
According to a two page Correspondence from Ecology's Mr. Greg Sorlie, dated March 2,
1999, which addressed the concern of toxic waste in fertilizer:
"The Fertilizer Regulation Act of 1998 took a big first -step toward regulating commercial
fertilizers that use wastes in the manufacturing process. Beginning July 1, 1999, fertilizers
that use waste as an ingredient will be required to meet state and federal hazardous waste
regulations for wastes that are applied to the land."
The correspondence further states:
"Ecology is also taking direct action to address the potential for toxics to be included in
fertilizers. One of the recommendations of Ecology's Preliminary Fertilizer Report is to
eliminate a regulatory exclusion for steel mill flue dust, a known source of dioxin, that
has been found in some fertilizers in Washington State. Ecology is making this regulatory
change. Elimination of this exclusion means that steel mill flue dust will no longer be
exempt from the Dangerous Waste Regulations through its use as a fertilizer ingredient."
With respect to the first paragraph, which addresses toxics in fertilizer:
The concept that commercial fertilizer merely meet hazardous waste requirements for
wastes that are applied to the land is unacceptable. The Washington State Legislature
should work to improve the Fertilizer Regulation Act of 1998 by prohibiting the
commercial sale as "fertilizer", fertilizer ingredient, or amendment, any material
meeting or exceeding state and federal criterion for hazardous waste that may be
applied in a hazardous waste landfill.
With respect to the second paragraph, which supposedly addresses dioxin in fertilizer:
Ecology's proposed revision of WAC 173-303-505 would remove what is known as
the "K061 exemption". Currently, steel mill flue dust (identified by its federal hazardous
waste code K061) is exempt from meeting Land Disposal Restriction (LDR) standards
when used to make commercial fertilizer. LDR standards pertain to heavy metals and
not dioxin. The K061 exemption encourages the use of K061 in fertilizers over other
hazardous wastes not exempt from LDR standards. Therefore, removal of the "K061
exemption" merely levels the playing field for other toxic wastes meeting heavy metals
standards, regardless of dioxin content, to be used in fertilizer manufacture.
Therefore, the proposed revision of WAC 173-303-505 to remove what is known as
the "K061 exemption" has no bearing on reduction of dioxin content of fertilizer ingredients,
and the suggestion that it will do so is misleading.
WEC calls for banning the use of ANY wastes high in dioxin content, including but
not limited to steel mill flue dust, waste from pulp mills, cement kilns, incinerators,
coal or other combustion flue deposits, as a fertilizer, fertilizer ingredient, or soil
amendment, regardless of the "K061 exemption".
WEC Pollution and Health Committee
CC Dave Mann WEC President