A land application permit seeking permission to create a sewage sludge-producing facility southeast of Columbus has been received by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM).

Evan Daily of Biocycle LLC, 3788 E. County Road 300S, is asking that his facility be allowed to accept dewatered biosolids and certain industrial waste products from various sources for blending. The terms “biosolids” and “sewage sludge” are often used interchangeably, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Biosolids are a product of the wastewater treatment process,according to the EPA website. During treatment, the liquids are separated from the solids. The solids are then treated physically and chemically to produce a semisolid, nutrient-rich product known as biosolids, the EPA website states.

When applied to land at the appropriate agronomic rate, properly mixed biosolids provide a number of benefits for agricultural fields that include the addition of nutrients, improved soil structure and water reuse, according to the EPA.

According to the proposal, the biosolids will be mixed when they arrive and placed in an area sectioned off by interlocking concrete blocks that allow access for sampling before land application. Once the desired amount is reached in the holding area, the blend will be sampled and tested to determine land application rate.

The structure Daily wants to build will have a concrete base with concrete walls on three sides, according to his application. The south side of the building, which will be open for truck access, will have a trench drain across the opening with a runoff holding tank. The application states the holding area for biosolids will be 85 feet wide by 100 feet long, with a holding capacity of 46,750 cubic feet.

Biocycle is seeking to apply the biosolid mixture to farmland in Bartholomew, Jennings, Decatur, Jackson, Johnson, and Shelby counties.

In the future, Biocycle plans to add certain industrial waste products such as food, pharmaceutical or paper waste. Other appropriate waste products cited by the EPA include wood chips, saw dust, manure, bedding from various animals, animal mortalities and crop residue. All waste products must be biodegradable when mixed with biosolids.

Several precautions will be taken that include a 660 foot setback from residences and public buildings when applied on frozen or snow-covered ground, Daily wrote in the application. Unless a signed waiver is obtained from the owner or tenant when applicable, Biocycle will also impose a 200 foot setback from wells and surface waters or the surface conduit to a subsurface feature, he wrote.

There will be no application allowed if frozen or snow covered ground is located in a floodplain or where the water holding capacity of the solid is exceeded, Daily stated. He added land application will be closely monitored by a certified operator. All setbacks will be clearly flagged along with any areas exceeding the desired slope.

There will also be a 660 foot setback from residences or public businesses unless a signed waiver from owner or tenant is applicable, Daily stated. The same setback applies to potable wells or a drinking spring. Applications will be kept at least 300 feet away from surface waters or surface inlet to subsurface drainage system, according to the company.

Biocycle pledges not to stockpile biosolids in flood plain or areas where the soil stays saturated for extended time periods after heavy rains. In addition, dirt or lime berm will be constructed around stockpiled biosolids as a form of runoff control, Daily wrote.

Biocycle is assuring IDEM they will limit the length of time biosolids are stockpiled at a land application site as much as possible, especially during summer months with the higher temperatures.

However, the sewage sludge may emit a distinctive odor depending on the treatment process and methods used. The odorous compounds generated and detected are most often ammonia, amines, and reduced sulfur-containing compounds, according to the EPA. Meteorological conditions such as wind speed and direction, relative humidity, and temperature can impact nuisance odors, according to the agency website. However, the EPA states the odors do not mean that the biosolids pose harm to human health and the environment.

The complete application filed by Biocycle LLC is available online through IDEM’s Virtual File Cabinet.

Go to vfc.idem.in.gov, and go to the “Quick Search” field in the upper right-hand corner of the page. After selecting Solid Waste Program ID in the left box, enter permit number 000915 in the right box.

Search results can be narrowed to permit related documents by clicking on the down arrow next to “IDEM Document Type”and selecting “OLQ Permit”.

Following the end of the public comment period on Jan. 28, IDEM will issue a Notice of Decision stating whether the approval has been issued or denied.

If comments are received during the public notice period, the final decision will include a document that summarizes the comments and IDEM’s response to those comments. If an individual has submitted comments or has asked to be added to the mailing list, you will receive the Notice of Decision. IDEM officials say it will provide details on how you may appeal IDEM’s decision if you disagree with their decision.

The final decision will also be available online via the Virtual File Cabinet.

How to make comments

Residents may submit comments regarding Biocycle’s land application request until Jan. 28. Please refer to permit number IN LA 000915 in all correspondence.

Comments and supporting documentation should be sent in writing to the following address:

Land Application Program

Indiana Dept.of Environmental Management,Office of Land Quality

100 North Senate Ave., IGCN 1154

Indianapolis, IN 46204-2251

Correspondence by email is preferred and should be sent to Brenda Stephanoff at bstephan@idem.IN.gov.

If you do not want to comment at this time but would like to receive notice of future action related to this permit application, please contact IDEM at the above address. You can also call 800-451-6027 or dial directly: 317-233-0472. Faxes will be accepted at 317-232-3403.

For additional information,contact Evan Daily at Biocycle LLC at 812-374-2946. He can also be reached by email at edaily17@gmail.com.
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