Gluesenkamp Perez Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Study Impact of Microplastics on Biosolids

Jun 12, 2023

Last week, Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (D-WA-03) and Rep. Young Kim (R-CA-40) introduced legislation to research the impact of microplastics on biosolids.

Biosolids are a valuable product of the wastewater treatment process that can be applied to agricultural land to add nutrients to the soil and improve soil structure. Applying biosolids to land saves money for farmers by reducing their need for phosphorus and synthetic fertilizers and keeps waste out of landfills.

While research is limited, studies have shown that biosolids may contain microplastics – and it’s important to make sure they aren’t negatively impacting the health of our soil and farmlands.

The bipartisan legislation would authorize the U.S. Department of Agriculture to make grants available to study the incidence and impacts of microplastics in biosolids on farmland.

“There’s no sexier word in the English language than biosolids, and this resource is essential to our agriculture sector in Southwest Washington and nationwide,” said Rep. Gluesenkamp Perez. “We need to know more about the impacts of microplastics on biosolids so we can adapt our farming methods, and I’m thankful to be partnering with Rep. Young Kim on this bipartisan effort.”

“The United States needs to ensure we can keep in step with the 21st century. Farmers have long relied on biosolids as nutrient-rich and cost-effective fertilizers. However, there is limited understanding on its impact on soil health, the environment, and public health. I am proud to work with Rep. Gluesenkamp Perez to support research opportunities in this field,” said Rep. Young Kim.

Bill text can be found here.

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