Contacts for David Lewis:
David L. Lewis, Ph.D., Visiting Scientist
Department of Marine Sciences, University of Georgia
Athens, Georgia 30602
Adjunct Senior Research Scientist, School of Ecology
Director International Center for Research on Public Health and the Environment www.researchcenter.uga.edu
DavidL at uga.edu (706) 542 7370; Blackberry: (706) 296-3675 LewisDaveL at aol.com
1. National Research Council. 2002. Biosolids Applied to Land: Advancing Standards and Practices. National Academy Press. Washington, DC. Comments: The NAS panel cited the Lewis et al. studies documenting adverse health effects in draft versions of the 2002 report, but later removed them. A member of the committee representing state biosolids programs informed the panel chairman that most members did not believe that the work of David Lewis should be "elevated" or that EPA should be "criticized" (Document 13). The reason was that EPA critics in Congress would seize on the opportunity. (See also Document 13)
2. U. S. Environmental Protection Agency. 2002. Land Application of Biosolids Status Report; Report 2002-S-000004; Office of Inspector General. Washington, DC. Comments: Report concludes that EPA failed to conduct important research, and that EPA and the states rarely monitor land application operations. Therefore, EPA cannot assure the public that land application is safe. [Document 2]
3. U. S. Environmental Protection Agency. 2001. Cooperative Agreement CR-820725-01-1 and renewals. Comments: EPA established an agreement with Water Environment Federation (WEF) to fund a network of sludge-friendly scientists (“gatekeepers”) at selected universities. Their job is to publish supportive research articles and participate in a national public relations campaign. [Document 3]
4. David L. Lewis, Ph.D. v. Environmental Protection Agency (2002) U. S. Department of Labor 2003-CAA-00005, - 6. Comments: In Dr. Lewis’ EPA whistleblower case, Labor Department Administrative Law Judge Jeffrey Tureck defended EPA’s conflict of interest with the regulated industry, ruling that John Walker’s effort with Industry to go after EPA scientists and stop their research on environmental and public health problems linked to land applied sewage sludge does not violate whistleblower protections. This recommended decision is no longer in force; and, the Department of Labor Administrative Review Board is undertaking a de novo review of the case. [Document 46]
5. Sierra Club. Comments on EPA response to NAS recommendations. Office of Water Docket ID OW-2003-0006. Comments: Sierra Club protested EPA’s handling of Dr. Lewis and the agency’s selective funding of a network of industry-friendly scientists (gatekeeper scientists who control the flow of scientific information to promote land application of sewage sludge as safe and beneficial). [http://docket.epa.gov/edkpub/index.jsp]: OW-2003-0006-0044. See also the Sierra Club's Sewage Sludge Policy [ http://www.sierraclub.org/policy/conservation/solidwaste.asp]
6. Committee on Science, U.S. House of Representatives. (March 22, 2000) EPA’s Sludge Rule: Closed Minds or Open Debate? Serial No.106-95. U.S. Government Printing Office. Hearings focused on EPA official Alan Rubin’s threats to private citizens and scientists researching problems with sewage sludge. The proceedings were prompted by retaliations from Rubin and other EPA officials against Dr. Lewis for his 1996 Nature commentary (Document 16) and his earlier research on pathogens in sewage sludge.
7. Committee on Science, U.S. House of Representatives. (October 4, 2000) Intolerance at EPA – Harming People, Harming Science. Serial No. 106-103. U.S. Government Printing Office. Comments: Hearings focused on retaliations against Dr. Lewis’ EPA director (Dr. Rosemarie Russo) by ORD Asst. Administrator Norine Noonan. The proceedings were prompted by Labor Department findings that Russo was ordered to leave her position for approving Dr. Lewis’ second article in Nature, which concluded that organic nitrogen in land-applied sewage sludge could increase the persistence of certain commonly used pesticides.
8. U. S. Environmental Protection Agency. 2000. Biosolids Management and Enforcement Audit Report; Report 2000-P-10; Office of Inspector General. Washington, DC. Comments: Concluded that EPA and the states rarely monitor land-application operations for regulatory compliance. [EPA report]
9. Marshall et al. v. Synagro-WWT.Inc. et al. No.99-C-45 Rockingham Superior Court, NH.
10. McElmurray, et al. v. Augusta-Richmond County, et al. United States District Court Southern District of Georgia, CV 198-216. Comments: This case involving dairy cows deaths linked to recycled sewage sludge was dismissed, largely based on data published by EPA and the University of Georgia (Document 19). The UGA paper included data from the city of Augusta, GA, which were discovered to have been manipulated. Augusta wastewater treatment plant employees made the results of chemical analyses appear to show that the sludge complied with federal and state regulations regarding levels of heavy metals and toxic organic chemicals.
11. Boyceland Dairy v. City of Augusta, No. 2001-RCCV-126 Richmond County Superior Court, Augusta, GA. Comments: This is the first case to win a jury verdict involving environmental harm caused by land application of sewage sludge. The jury ruled that heavy metals and other contaminants in Augusta’s sewage were absorbed by forage crops and damaged the dairy farm, killing hundreds of head of cattle.
12. U.S. EPA. 2003. Standards for the Use or Disposal of Sewage Sludge; Agency Response to the National Research Council Report on Biosolids Applied to Land and the Results of EPA’s Review of Existing Sewage Sludge Regulations. Fed. Regist. 68 (68), 2003, 17379-17395. Comments: EPA informed the National Academy of Sciences that the agency would support additional research on risks associated with land-applied sewage sludge, but the funding would go to gatekeeper scientists such as Ian Pepper and others at the University of Arizona.
13. Kester, Greg E. National Academy of Sciences Committee on Toxicants and Pathogens in: Biosolids Applied to Land. E-mail to Tom Burke et al. Jul. 2, 2002. Comments: Kester, who represents the states on biosolids issues, informed the chairman of the National Academy of Sciences panel that most members did not believe that the work of David Lewis should be "elevated" or that EPA should be "criticized." The reason was that EPA critics in Congress would seize on this opportunity. The NAS panel removed references to the Lewis et al. papers in draft copies of their report, so they could conclude that there is no scientific evidence documenting any adverse health effects or environmental harm linked to land application of sewage sludge. The NAS panel also cited the UGA study containing manipulated data (Document 19), to dismiss cattle deaths in Augusta, GA. [Document 13]
14. US Environmental Protection Agency. 2004. Comments: Biography of Henry Longest, the EPA official who developed EPA's sludge regulations beginning in the 1970s. [http://www.epa.gov/ord/htm/daa.htm]
15. US Environmental Protection Agency. 1978. Memorandum. John M. Walker, Municipal Technology Branch to Henry L. Longest II, Assoc. Deputy Asst. Administrator for Water Program Operations. Washington, DC. September 12, 1978. Comments: Walker outlines goal of first sludge regulations to Longest, stating: “The goal of 405/4004 sludge regulations should be to promote low cost sludge management ... The application of some low levels of toxic substances to land for food crop production should not be prohibited; rather, it should be controlled by proper rates of sludge/toxic application, soil management, etc.” [Document 15]
16. Lewis, DL (1996) EPA Science: Casualty of election politics. Nature 381, 731-732. Comments: Dr. Lewis discusses the need to improve regulatory science at EPA.
17. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. E-mail. Burnell Vincent to Craig Barber et al. May 6, 1992. Comments: Coordinator of the internal peer-review of the 503 sludge rule by EPA’s Office of Research and Development expresses his concerns about the rule: “Committing to success raises the horizon of our discussion. Options facing the Agency …include boldly publishing on admittedly weak science, using a factor of safety to compensate for any weakness, or scrapping the whole exercise, promulgating the Feb 89 proposal as interim. Your advice is solicited. Are human health and the environment "pretty safe" with the application rates drafted, or does the Administrator need to hear that major work is necessary just to be pretty safe? Can we feel ok as long as the uncertainty is fully discussed, both in the preamble and the guidance documents?”. [Document 17]
18. Gattie DK and DL Lewis. 2004. A high-level disinfection standard for land-applied sewage sludges (biosolids). Environ Health Perspect. 112:126-131. Comments: Overview of health-related problems associated with Class A and Class B land-applied sewage sludge.[Document 18]
19. Gaskin, J.W., R.B. Brobst, W.P. Miller, and E.W. Tollner. 2003. Long-term biosolids application effects on metal concentrations in soil and bermudagrass forage J. Env. Qual. 32: 146-152. Comments: Co-author Robert Brobst, EPA Biosolids Coordinator, worked with attorney representing Augusta, GA in lawsuits over cattle deaths. False data from Augusta, GA, indicating Augusta’s sludge was safe, were published in this paper.
20. September 18, 2002 Industry Brochure. Comments: Provides EPA/industry view that land application of sewage sludge is a natural process that does not cause pollution from heavy metals, organic chemicals, and pathogens. [Document 20]
21. Schiffman, S.S.; Walker, J. M.; Dalton, P.; Lorig, T.S.; Raymer, J. H.; Shusterman, D.; Williams, C.M. Potential health effects of odor from animal operations, wastewater treatment, and recycling byproducts. J. Agromed. 2000, 7: 1-81. Comments: Example of EPA efforts to fund psychologists to find out why the public believes that sewage sludge smells bad and the odors can make them sick.
24. Lewis, D.L., M. Arens, S. Appleton, K. Nakashima, J. Ryu, R.K. Boe, J. Patrick, D. Watanabe, & M. Suzuki. 1992. Cross-contamination potential with dental equipment. Lancet. 340:1252-4. Comments: Dr. Lewis discovered that dental handpieces used to clean and restore teeth could transmit the AIDS virus despite chemical disinfection. The work prompted the CDC and FDA in 1992-93 to require dentists to heat-sterilize the equipment after each use. Dr. Lewis lectured on his findings throughout Europe and the new guidelines were adopted worldwide.
25. Lewis, D.L., and M. Arens. 1995. Resistance of microorganisms to disinfection in dental and medical devices. Nature Medicine. 1:956-958. Dr. Lewis discovered that the AIDS virus, when entrapped in lubricants used in common dental and medical devices (flexible endoscopes) resists chemical disinfection.
26. Finch, S. Unclean instruments. Feb.1998 Hippocrates. 12 (2): 40-47. Cover story on Dr. Lewis research, which changed government infection-control guidelines.
27. Lewis DL, Garrison AW, Wommack KE, Whittemore A, Steudler P, Melillo J. 1999. Influence of environmental changes on degradation of chiral pollutants in soils. Nature. 401:898-901. At the time, J. Melillo was Associate Director for the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy. [Document 27]
28. Lewis DL, Gattie DK, Novak ME, Sanchez S, Pumphrey C. 2002. Interactions of pathogens and irritant chemicals in land-applied sewage sludges (biosolids). BMC Public Health 2:11. First peer-reviewed scientific article to document illnesses among residents exposed to land-applied sewage sludge. [Document 28]
29. Lewis DL and DK Gattie. 2002. Pathogen risks from applying sewage sludge to land. Environ Sci Technol 36:286A-293A.
30. U.S. Department of Labor, Wage & Hour Division. Letter. Mary Ziegler, Investigator, to Henry L. Longest II, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Management, Office of Research & Development, EPA, Washington, DC. Jan. 16, 1997. Comments: Labor Department found that Longest and other top EPA officials retaliated against Dr. Lewis for publishing research on problems with land-applied sewage sludge. [Document 30]
31. Notification and Federal Employee Antidiscrimination and Retaliation Act of 2002. 2002. Public Law 107-174. Comments: Law signed by President George W. Bush as a result of Science Committee hearings into EPA’s retaliations against Dr. Lewis and other EPA scientists for questioning the scientific basis behind the 503 sludge rule. The bill, called the No Fear Act, was intended to provide more protection to federal employees from retaliations by managers, but was weakened considerably by the Senior Executives Association, which represents Senior Executive Service employees such as Henry Longest (Document 32).
32. Shaw, G.J. 2002. SEA secures vital changes to “No Fear” bill. Senior Executive. Legislative Update. May 2002, p. 3. (See also Document 31.) [Document 32]
33. Boyceland Dairy v. City of Augusta, No. 2001-RCCV-126, Richmond County Superior Court, Augusta, GA. Expert Report of Chip Pritchard, DVM. Feb. 3, 1999. Comments: Expert findings that cattle fed forage crops grown on sewage sludge had high to toxic levels of heavy metals in tissue samples. [Document 33]
34. Boyceland Dairy v. City of Augusta, No. 2001-RCCV-126, Richmond County Superior Court, Augusta, GA. Supplemental and Rebuttal Expert Report of Chip Pritchard, DVM. Aug. 12, 1999. Comments: Expert findings that cattle fed forage crops grown on sewage sludge had high to toxic levels of heavy metals in tissue samples. [Document 34]
35. Georgia Department of Natural Resources. Georgia Environmental Protection Division. Memorandum. Alan W. Hallum, Compliance Evaluation Task Force to Jeffry H. Larson, James A. Sommerville. Dec. 16, 1998. Comments: Audit of Augusta waste treatment plant found that data reported to the state were unreliable and probably manipulated to appear to comply with state and federal regulations. [Document 35]
36. Boyceland Dairy v. City of Augusta, No. 2001-RCCV-126, Richmond County Superior Court, Augusta, GA. Deposition of Alan Saxon, Jr., Plant Manager, James B. Messerly Wastewater Treatment Plant. July 23, 1999. Comments: Example where Augusta Wastewater Treatment Plant manager admitted under oath that chemical analyses of sewage sludge reported to the state of Georgia were low by four orders of magnitude. [Document 36]
37. Boyceland Dairy v. City of Augusta, No. 2001-RCCV-126, Richmond County Superior Court, Augusta, GA. Expert Report of NewFields Resources, Inc., Atlanta, GA. Comments: Expert findings that City of Augusta’s wastewater treatment plant frequently reported high levels of regulated pollutants in sewage sludge prior to 1993, when the 503 sludge rule was promulgated. Reported levels dropped below regulated limits after 503 was in effect, even though treatment methods remained unchanged, as did pollutant input (according to NPDS data). Plant manager admitted under oath that reported data were orders of magnitude too low (Document 36).
38. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Biosolids Management and Enforcement. Record of Communication. “Note of Phone Conversation With Bob Brobst, Region 8 Biosolids Coordinator.” May 11, 1999. Comments: EPA Biosolids Coordinator Robert Brobst discussed “biosolids horror stories” found across the country. He mentioned that he had a favorable working relationship with Augusta attorney defending the city against the McElmurray and Boyce cases involving cattle deaths. Brobst later funded the University of Georgia to publish a study, which he co-authored (Document 19), that included fraudulent analytical data (Documents 33-37). The article was used by EPA and the National Academy of Sciences to dismiss the cattle deaths as related to sewage sludge (Document 39, Document 1, p. 52). [Document 38]
39. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Letter. G. Tracy Mehan, III, Assistant Administrator for the Office of Water to Joseph Mendelson III, Legal Director, Center for Food Safety, Washington, DC. Dec. 24, 2003. Comments: OW Assistant Administrator dismissed cattle deaths in Augusta, Georgia based on University of Georgia research article containing fraudulent data (Document 19).
40. Lee, Jennifer 8. “Sewer Sludge Spread on Fields is Fodder for Lawsuits.” NY Times Jun. 26, 2003. Comments: Article discussed jury verdict in favor of Boyceland Dairy Farms, which found that sewage sludge killed hundreds of head of cattle when they were fed forage crops grown on sludge-treated land. It also discusses EPA’s termination of Dr. Lewis for publishing research on problems associated with sewage sludge.
41. Letter. Ross Patton to EPA Administrator, Christie Whitman, February 6, 2002. Comments: Example where Industry requested that EPA stop supporting Dr. Lewis’ research. [Document 41]
42. Water Environment Federation. Letter. Albert Gray, Deputy Executive Director to EPA Administrator Christie Whitman, Feb. 13, 2002. Comments: WEF requested that EPA stop supporting Dr. Lewis’ research. [Document 42]
43. Assoc. Metropolitan Sewerage Agencies (AMSA). Letter. Ken Kirk, Executive Director to Henry L. Longest II, Acting Assistant Administrator, Office of Research & Development, US EPA, Apr. 2, 2002. Comments: AMSA raised concerns with Henry Longest about Dr. Lewis’ research. Longest was the EPA official who developed the agency’s sludge regulations and required that Dr. Lewis—in order to continue his research—transfer to the University of Georgia and then resign . [ Document 43]
44. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Letter. Rosemarie C. Russo, Ph.D., Director, Ecosystems Research Division, National Exposure Reserch Laboratory, US EPA, at Athens GA to Professor T. Hollibaugh, Acting Director, School of Marine Sciences, University of Georgia. Sept. 4, 2001. Comments: Dr. Lewis’ EPA director stated [contrary to industry claims] that Dr. Lewis' research and publications on health effects of sewage sludge were fully approved by EPA. [Document 44]
45. Letter. Robert G. O’Dette to Mr. Tom D. Stavinoha, Commissioner Precinct 1, Fort Bend, TX. November 18, 2002. Comments: O’ Dette presented industry perspective on whether Dr. Lewis should be funded to conduct research on adverse health effects of sludges. [Document 45]
46. David L. Lewis, Ph.D. v. Environmental Protection Agency. U. S. Department of Labor 2003-CAA-00005, - 6. Comments: Dr. Lewis’ attorney (Stephen Kohn) appealed the decision recommended by a Labor Department Administrative Law Judge, who ruled that EPA’s collaboration with Synagro to stop Dr. Lewis’ research does not violate whistleblower protections (Document 4). The judge also concluded Dr. Lewis did not prove sewage sludge is harmful. He based his conclusion on internal EPA peer-reviews of one of Dr. Lewis’ draft manuscripts, which were done by John Walker and EPA officials responsible for promoting sewage sludge – disregarding the fact that ORD rejected their opinions and independent peer-reviewers at leading scientific journals unanimously recommended publication of all of Dr. Lewis’ research articles on land-applied sewage sludge. [Document 46]
47. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Letter. Lauren Fondahl, Biosolids Coordinator, Clean Water Act Compliance Office, Region IX, San Francisco to Ken Kawahara, Department of Environmental Services, State of Hawaii. Sept. 18, 2003. Comments: EPA supported approval of a $34-million industry contract to build a sewage sludge processing plant ion Sand Island, HI. EPA claimed that the Class A pelletized sewage sludge is pathogen-free and safe. [Document 47]
48. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Letter. Alexis Strauss, Director, Water Division, EPA Region IX, San Francisco, to Frank J. Doyle, P.E., Director, Department of Environmental Services, Honolulu, HI. December 2, 2003. Comments: EPA threatened Hawaii with $5.5 million in fines if Honolulu adopted a plan submitted by Dr. Lewis for testing the proposed product for pathogens before approving their contract. [Document 48]
49. Fujioka, R., G. Vithanage, and B. Yoneyama. May 2004. Analysis of proposed biosolids pellets applied to Hawaiian soil for detection and growth of Salmonella. Water Resources Research Center, University of Hawaii at Manoa. Comments: The Honolulu City Council voted to have the University of Hawaii test the Class A pelletized sewage sludge before approving their contract to build a treatment facility. Researchers found that the product passed all EPA tests based on indicator pathogens, but contained high levels of unidentified “heterotrophic” bacteria. All human, animal, and plant bacterial pathogens are heterotrophic bacteria. [Document 49]
50. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Letter. Kathi Moore, Chief, Clean Water Act Compliance Office, EPA Region IX, San Francisco, to Frank J. Doyle, P.E., Director, Department of Environmental Services, Honolulu, HI. July 13, 2004. Comments: EPA expressed its displeasure over Honolulu’s delaying the approval of an inustry contract a second time. [Document 50]
51. H.J. Heinz Company, Food Technology & Quality Division, Pittsburgh, PA. Letter. J.M. Dryer, General Manager, to Jane Shumaker, Mayport, PA. Nov. 19, 1992. Comments: The Heinz Company refuses to accept products grown on land treated with sewage sludge. [Document 51]
52. Del Monte, Consumer Affairs, San Francisco, CA, .Letter. C Meyers to Alice Gallagher, Far Hills, NJ. Mar. 24, 1995. Comments: Del Monte refuses to accept products grown on land treated with sewage sludge. [Document 52]
53. National Farmers Union Policy Manual. Comments: This year, the National Farmers Union adopted a policy advising farmers not to accept the practice of land applying sewage sludge. [http://www.nfu.org/index.cfm?category]
54. Mann, A. “Fight over sludge starts to get dirty.” Time. Sept. 27, 1999. Comments: Article on Alan Rubin retaliating against Dr. Lewis and others. [Document 54]
55. USA Today. “Faced with faulty science, EPA muzzles critics.” Editorial. Oct. 5, 2000. Comments: Article on EPA Asst. Administrator Norine Noonan retaliating against Dr. Lewis and his EPA director who approved his research paper on sewage sludge published in Nature. [Document 55]
56. Armbrister, T. “Weird science at the EPA.” Reader’s Digest Jun. 1999. Comments: Article focuses on EPA retaliating against Dr. Lewis for his research on sewage sludge.
57. Barnett, M. “Making a stink.” U.S. News & World Report Aug. 5, 2002. Comments: Article covers health-related issues regarding land application of sewage sludge, and discusses Dr. Lewis’ research.
58. David L. Lewis, Ph.D. v. Environmental Protection Agency U. S. Department of Labor 2003-CAA-00005, - 6. Deposition of David Guerrero, Assistant General Counsel, November 6, 2002. Comments: EPA Asst. General Counsel testified that Henry Longest was the EPA decision official who required that Dr. Lewis, in order to continue his research, transfer to the University of Georgia and then resign.[Document 58]
59. Heilprin, J. 2003. “Senators Protest Firing of EPA Scientist,” Assoc. Press. May 22, 2003. Comments: Senator Charles Grassley, Chairmen of the Senate Finance Committee, and Senator James Inhofe, Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, asked EPA Administrator Christine Whitman not to terminate Dr. Lewis for published research critical of EPA’s policies on land-applying sewage sludge. [Document 59]
60. Letter. Alvin Thomas to Alexandria Dapolito Dunn, General Counsel, Assoc. Metropolitan Sewerage Agencies (AMSA). March 28, 2002. Comments: An industry representative informed AMSA that the industry had arranged a meeting with Bush EPA appointees about Dr. Lewis, and requested AMSA to assist in their efforts to stop his research at EPA and the University of Georgia. AMSA responded by writing to Henry Longest (Document 43), EPA's Deputy Asst. Administrator who developed EPA's sludge regulations. Longest is the EPA official who required Dr. Lewis to resign after Lewis published research on adverse health effects of sewage sludge. Bush EPA appointees and Longest refused to be deposed in Labor Department proceedings, claiming that they had recused themselves from any involvement in matters related to Dr. Lewis. [EPA did not produce AMSA's letter to Longest (Document 43) in discovery.] [Document 60]