When the Hermitage Municipal Authority wanted to obtain Class A status for its biosolids, it was not as simple as downloading and completing the necessary forms. As one of the first facilities in Pennsylvania to accept food waste in its digesters, the Authority needed to first receive conditional approval from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for Alternative 6 under Processes to Further Reduce Pathogens (PFRP) through the Pathogen Equivalency Committee (PEC). To receive PFRP equivalency for its temperature phased anaerobic digestion process, the Authority had to demonstrate at least two-log reduction in viable helminth ova and a three-log reduction of enteric viruses, along with standard vector attraction reduction. Additionally, because the Authority intended to receive food wastes, a coproduct determination was necessary in accordance with 25 PA Code, Chapter 287.1, certifying the food waste is non-hazardous.
RETTEW developed and oversaw the sampling plan designed to demonstrate the necessary biosolids characteristics including required volatile solids reduction. After receiving EPA PEC equivalency and demonstrating coproduct qualifications, RETTEW, on behalf of the Authority, applied for and obtained a general permit for the beneficial use of sewage sludge.