Commission looking at solid waste plans
The county commission took is first step Monday in amending its solid waste management plan.
"We passed a motion to adopt a resolution to include the disposal of sewage sludge or bio-solids in the Franklin County solid waste management plan," Commissioner Stratt Byars said.
Many farmers in the county have been using bio-solids, which is comprised of human waste, as a cheaper alternative to fertilizer.
"This is laying the groundwork to get a solution on this issue," Probate Judge Barry Moore said.
"We're looking to develop guidelines and see what we need to do about changing the requirements for this situation."
The state of Alabama requires that each county and municipality have an approved solid waste management plan.
"(Monday's) action lays the groundwork for the commission to monitor and regulate the land application of sewage sludge or bio-solids," Byars said.
"The commission wants to be sure that all (Environmental Protection Agency), state and local laws and regulations are being followed. We want to ensure that there are no public health or environmental issues that may arise in the future because of the land application of sewage sludge or bio-solids."
Moore said the previous commission had been looking into the issue since April and the new commission, which took office in November, continued that effort.
Among the obstacles the commission faces in seeing some resolution to the situation is the Interstate Commerce Clause. It, along with the Interstate Commerce Act, prohibits state and local governments from preventing the transporting of materials into and out of an area.
In other business, the commission: