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QUESTION PERIOD — International Trade

Spreading of Municipal Sewage Sludge

December 15, 2022

My question is for the Leader of the Government.

Maine has adopted new regulations that prohibit the spreading of municipal sewage sludge. We are talking about sludge from municipal water treatment plants. To get rid of these substances, the sludge and biosolids are exported to Canada and spread on farmers’ fields in Quebec.

International trade experts say that there is no rule prohibiting the import — or export, as the case may be — of municipal sewage sludge. What is the government planning to do to stop the importing of municipal sewage sludge? You can imagine what it contains.

Hon. Marc Gold (Government Representative in the Senate) [ + ]

Thank you for the question. I will inquire with the government to better understand the issue and the direction the government plans to take on this. I will come back to the Senate with a response as soon as I have one.

Could you also ask whether there are existing studies on the potential impacts of using sludge from municipal treatment plants on the products consumed? Should we not exercise caution, given the uncertainty around the situation?

Senator Gold [ + ]

Again, thank you for the question and the suggestion. I will add that to my inquiries.

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