SCDHEC Issues Anti-Sludge Order

The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) has issued a statewide emergency order banning illegal “sludge.” Wait … so does that mean this website has to shut down? We kid, we kid … the SCDHEC order targets the illicit discharge of Polychlorinated Biphenyls (a.k.a. PCBs), which were used…

The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) has issued a statewide emergency order banning illegal “sludge.”

Wait … so does that mean this website has to shut down?

We kid, we kid … the SCDHEC order targets the illicit discharge of Polychlorinated Biphenyls (a.k.a. PCBs), which were used as dielectric and coolant fluids prior to being banned by the U.S. Congress in the late 1970s.

“The Department was notified in July 2013 of polychlorinated biphenyls contaminated material in
three publicly owned treatment works located in upstate South Carolina,” the SCDHEC emergency order reads. “Because PCBs were banned in the United States over thirty years ago, they are not expected to be found in wastewater systems. The Department’s investigation indicates the materials found in the POTWs were illicitly discharged into the systems and originated from unknown sources.”

The agency issued its statewide order after additional PCBs were “detected in a restaurant grease trap in Richland County.”

The SCHDEC order is effective immediately …

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jimlewisowb September 26, 2013 at 12:56 pm

Great news. I now know that if I get the urge to crawl through sewers it could be dangerous for my health

Too bad DHEC didn’t move this fast when it came to protecting innocent school kids from a TB carrier

Got to get those priorities straight

Torch September 26, 2013 at 1:14 pm

Don’t eat any of the fish from the Broad, Saluda or Congaree as that is where the waste goes. Not sure what bodies of water the upstate waste empties into as it isn’t mentioned in the article.

southmauldin September 26, 2013 at 2:01 pm

Hartwell has enough PCBs for the rest of the state. Come get you some!

Curious September 27, 2013 at 8:47 am

Ever notice how the one state agency Sic doesn’t criticize – and actually shills for – is DHEC? He defended the agency and Templeton during that whole TB thing when even conservatives were were criticizing their handling of the situation. Wonder if that has anything to do with how “hot” he thinks Templeton (and her BFF Nikki who got her the job at DHEC) is…

shifty henry September 26, 2013 at 1:31 pm

“originated from unknown sources”

Has anyone checked the Statehouse recently? Just askin’…..

jimlewisowb September 26, 2013 at 2:11 pm

Right Church wrong Pew there Mr. Henry

The article is about PCB’s not PCP

Word is that local LEO’s will not send anymore drug sniffing dogs into the State House

The one that went into the Senate chambers died three steps beyond the door
The one that went into the House Chambers now thinks he is a cat
The one sent into the Executive Wing freaked out and started humping everything in sight. Insiders reported that it took three weeks for the burn rash to heal on Eunuch Timmy’s leg.

You know me September 26, 2013 at 4:13 pm

So, Timmy is a massive vassal with a passive tassel?

shifty henry September 26, 2013 at 8:49 pm

Can Nikki really be sure that she knows if —-

The pellet with the poison is in the vessel with the pestle,
The chalice from the palace has the brew that is true,
Or is the pellet with the poison in flagon with the dragon?

JRH September 26, 2013 at 1:43 pm

All Greenville dumps into Saluda river and it feeds Greenwood and then Murray,but where did the pcb’s come from? All i can think of is transformer oil. I guess Lake Hartwell is not the only one now with a problem. And how much has been released,? WE will never know.

SparkleCity September 26, 2013 at 10:11 pm

Well according to FITS’ libertarian philosophy, DHEC should not even exist hence, no testing/monitoring = no PCB’s

If you don’t have an agency testing for it then it does not exist.

Same for heavy metals,non-inspection of restaurants, etc.

You get the idea

We don’t need the government sticking their noses where it does not belong.

If you want safe food,water, buy from the vendor with the high safety label on it and hope for the best. Because after all it is a matter of individual responsibility.

I have over 30 years in the pollution engineering field and I could write pages about this stuff but basically, someone dumped a fair amount of PCB laden waste into a number of grease traps. Some were closed restaurants, others were dumped into without the owners knowing what happened or maybe even turned a blind eye

The perps knew what they were doing. Usually the PCBs are oil based and it blends nicely with the grease/oil in the traps. Once the haulers got to the POTW’s (Publically Owned Treatment Works) and dumped their contents into the POTW’s headworks (usually at the screening system prior to the grit chambers), the horse was out of the barn. The PCB’s concentrate in the sludge that is a byproduct of the treatment process. For a number of years, a fair amount of the waste sludge has been applied to fields in one fashion or another. The two other main methods of disposing of waste sludge (now more commonly branded as “Bio-Solids” -but since I am “old school” I will always call it what it is = “SLUDGE”) is either landfill disposal or incineration ( both more expensive than land application)

Land application is the most economical but as the case here has its own set of problems IF the sludge is not routinely tested (and it is – just not routinely tested for PCB’s). That is also the reason for pretreatment regulations (another pinko/commie/socialist/whatever/fill in the blank government entity totally designed to fuck up the hard working simple folk who are just doing their jobs as true capitalists) prior to treatment at POTW’s in order to prevent this type of situation. But in this case, noone was testing the grease traps or the “honey wagons” who were routinely sucking this shit up and dumping it into the POTW headworks.

If you live in an area or town that has a sewage service line to the POTW and it is on the list of PCB laden sludge, get ready for a rate hike

The only REAL way to destroy PCB laden waste is high temperature incineration or burying it in a hazardous waste landfill like the mega-landfill in Emile,Alabama and that shit ain’t cheap using either method.

But in the world of FITS and right-wing nuts who totally abhor non-essential government services (and according to them that consists of a strict interpretation of the Constitution, defending the borders and not much else):

“You reap what you sow”

SparkleCity September 27, 2013 at 8:03 am


Burying PCB laden stuff in the hazardous landfill in Alabama is NOT destroying it as the case in incineration. Its just there for a shitload of years. Due to the ionic bonding of chlorides it would probably be potentially dangerous (as far as being carcinogenic) far longer than some radioactive wastes.

Soft Sigh from Hell September 27, 2013 at 5:46 pm

Thanks. How rare to see objective technically correct information about a physical problem on a comment board. The “science” is often–perhaps usually–strongly stated and self assured, but dismal and basically wrong.

SparkleCity September 28, 2013 at 8:10 am

you are welcome. Thank you for your comments.

I’ve been making “nasty” shit (polluted water,soil hazardous wastes,etc.) not “nasty” for over 30 years.

Roseanne September 26, 2013 at 4:14 pm

So they are banning something that is already illegal?

PCBiosolids September 26, 2013 at 8:00 pm

You will all get some in your beef and corn-fed chicken from the polluted sludge spread as “fertilizer” on large acreages of farm fields in South Carolina. I wonder what it tastes like? Well, maybe it helps kill the innumerable germs and hookworm eggs in the sludge itself.

Slartibartfast September 26, 2013 at 10:47 pm

I suppose it wouldn’t do any good to point out that PCBs have never been proven to be a direct cause of cancer. I always get excoriated for being impure in my libertarianism, and that’s fair. Now, I call for the same scientific exactitude when it comes to alar, AGW, sodium saccharide, DDT, asbestos, and PCB – none of which have EVER been proven to do the things they have been purported to do.


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