Society News Archive

31 July 2000

Current regulations do not specifically address acceptable levels of radioactivity in sewage sludge. The Sewage Sludge Subcommittee of the Interagency Steering Committee on Radiation Standards (ISCORS) has been assisting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) in developing guidance on radioactive material in sewage sludge and ash. The document "Guidance on Radioactive Materials in Sewage Sludge and Ash at Publicly Owned Treatment Works" (Revised Draft, June 2000) is intended to inform Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTW) authorities of the possibility for radioactive materials to concentrate in sewage sludge and incinerator ash and to help POTW authorities determine what they may want to do about any radioactive materials present in their sewage sludge or ash.

The Subcommittee has issued a revised draft of the guidance, which is available for review and comment. Comments should be provided to the EPA or NRC contact listed in the document, preferably by October 13, 2000. The guidance is available on the ISCORS website. From that home page, go to the "Subcommittee" page and to the "Sewage Sludge" page to download or view the document. The document may also be obtained from NRC contact Duane Schmidt, CHP, 301-415-6919.

The Subcommittee is also continuing its survey of POTWs, including analyses of radioactivity in sewage sludge and ash. Work on the survey is expected to be completed in Fall 2001.