'Chicken sludge' on fields draws complaints of stench, flies

September 14, 2019 - 11:24 am

GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. (AP) — People in rural Alabama are raising concerns about the use of "chicken sludge" as fertilizer on farm fields as the state considers new rules on how such products can be used.

Julie Lay says the sludge from a poultry processing plant created an overpowering stench when it was applied to a neighbor's farm fields. Lay says flies also invaded her property in Marshall County. Al.com reports that she says the material had a "crust" and chicken feathers.

Lay was among several residents who spoke out recently at an Alabama Department of Environmental Management public hearing.

The agency is considering new rules on how biosolids can be used as a fertilizer. Biosolids is the umbrella term used to describe solid material left over from wastewater treatment operations and chicken processing plants.

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