When it was first discovered that toxic waste is in fertilizer, there
was a lot of confusion about whether it was also in "organic-approved"
fertilizers, and if so, how many of them. We've been working with our
state program on this and are glad to report they've used most of the
language we suggested.
Following is the relevant section of the rule that the Washington State
Department of Agriculture (Certification Program) has now adopted to
prevent fertilizers containing toxic waste from being used on organic
farms. I'd be happy to put you in touch with the program manager if you
want to do this in your state.
(a) All fertilizers, organic waste derived materials, compost, animal
manures and soil amendments must meet standards for allowable levels of
nonnutritive substances under chapter 15.54 RCW. Washington application
rates shall be used to ensure that the maximum acceptable cumulative
metal additions to soil are not exceeded; and
(b) All organic waste derived materials, compost and animal manures must
consist of acceptable feedstocks. Acceptable feedstocks include
materials approved under WAC 16-154-070. Prohibited feedstocks include
mixed municipal solid waste, sewage sludge, biosolids, glossy paper,
recycled gypsum, dangerous waste, special waste, waste or by-product
from processes that create organochlorines, cement kilns, secondary
steel mills, waste categorically excluded from the dangerous waste
regulations and other materials prohibited under this chapter.
Applications for registering organic waste derived materials, composts
and animal manures must include an inspection of the facility.
Inspections of facilities entail an examination of the feedstocks and
may entail an examination of any other information neemed necessary to
the requirements of chapter 15.86 RCW and this chapter.
(c) The material does not contain ingredients that are prohibited under
chapter 16-154 WAC.
(d) The ingredients are approved under chapter 16-154 WAC; or the
ingredients are naturally derived, except for those naturally derived
materials prohibited under chapter 16-154 WAC; or the ingredients appear
on the EPA's List 4A or 4B of Inert Pesticide Ingredients; or the
ingredients meet the following conditions:
(iv) Would not be harmful to human health or the environment;
(v) Are necessary to the production of organic products; and
(vi) Are consistent with organic principles.
Director, Pesticide Reform Project
Washington Toxics Coalition
4649 Sunnyside Ave. N, Suite 540-East
Seattle, WA 98103
(206)632-1545 ext 19 phone
The Washington Toxics Coalition (WTC) is a non-profit organization
dedicated to protecting public health and preventing pollution in
industry, agriculture, and the home. WTC's work is supported in part by
dues from our members. If you are not already a member, please consider
joining! Our dues are $25 per year, $15 limited income. Members receive
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