The City of Seaside plans to dispose of 10 million gallons of biosolids in the Lewis and Clark River Valley approximately 4.5 miles north of Seaside. Biosolids is not a fertilizer and is not an agricultural product that enhances the quality of farmland. It will not break down into benign soil. It will grow contaminated hay that could be fed to dairy and beef cattle that will end up in your system. For more information, see sludgefacts.org.
I am co-owner of an organic farm that is directly across the Lewis and Clark River from the proposed dumpsite. I was not notified of the proposed disposal site. Every year, my driveway that runs on the north boundary of the site property is so flooded that I need to take my four-wheel-drive vehicle to cross the stream that flows directly from the site property to the Lewis and Clark River. These fields have traditionally flooded every year since I have owned the property for the past 20 years. Any matter that is dumped on the site field will end up in the Lewis and Clark River. The material being dumped is all of the waste that is emptied into the Seaside sewer system; not just human waste, but also waste from clinics, hospitals, businesses; and includes all forms of household chemicals and heavy metals. These chemicals are not removed by the treatment process and will most likely end up in the Lewis and Clark River. The Lewis and Clark River is a salmon spawning ground. It is a river that our children swim and fish in. This proposed area for a dump site does not make sense. The entire area downstream will be affected. The City of Seaside has made a decision that impacts many people from Astoria, without a widely publicized public hearing.
I suggest this process be delayed until these issues can be addressed. There are many other ways to dispose of sludge rather than dumping it into our rivers.
Rebecca Rubens, co-owner, Shweeash Farm
Member of Citizens for a Sludge Free Lewis and Clark River Valley