Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Dan Reed 

Blackhoof Township sets biosolids moratorium


"The concern on using biosolids on farm fields centers on protecting the groundwater," explained Clayton Kauppila via phone interview. "The Blackhoof Town Board voted 2 for and 1 against establishing a moratorium for spreading treated biosolids from Duluth's WLSSD within the township's jurisdiction."

Kauppila, a Blackhoof Township supervisor and chair of the Carlton County Township Officers Association, said the subject had been discussed at the Blackhoof Township annual meeting in March with a majority of township residents attending in favor of the moratorium. Supervisors Kauppila and Dale Davis supported the moratorium and Mike Salzer, a local farmer who uses biosolids on his farm land, disagreed.

During the spring meeting of the Carlton County Township Officers Association, Kauppila asked which townships in Carlton County. Supervisor Terry Dearborn of Atkinson stated, "In Atkinson Township the spreading of biosolids is over. It's done." There was little comment from the attendees.

Mark Thell, Soil and Water Conservation District board member, when contacted by phone commented, "I was not surprised at the moratorium being established. Blackhoof Township has a big growth in housing and population. It has become a bedroom community for the Twin Ports and lots of the people work in Moose Lake. This growing township population is skeptical of the use of biosolids and is very concerned that groundwater is protected."

Terry Dearborn, Atkinson Township town board member, via phone said, "There was a moratorium in our township at one time. It is not in effect now. None of our remaining farmers have been interested in using the product for a range of reasons."

Split Rock Township banned the use of biosolids years ago. Automba Township also has a moratorium. Biosolids are still spread in many rural townships at this time. WLSSD continues to take household, business, and industrial waste from the Cloquet area via a pipeline and pumping stations to the Duluth processing facility.


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