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WHEATFIELD – A Cornell University professor of soil science will present a talk on how sewage sludge affects farmland at a meeting called by the Western New York Sludge Free Alliance at 1 p.m. Sept. 14 in the Frontier Volunteer Fire Company hall, 2176 Liberty Drive.

That location is down the street from the Quasar Energy Group’s anaerobic digester, which uses sewage sludge as part of its raw material for producing methane gas that can be used to produce electricity or compressed natural gas. However, the process produces a byproduct which Quasar has sought to sell to farmers as fertilizer. Residents, fearful of the contents of sewage sludge being spread on the land, pushed the Town of Wheatfield to ban the practice.

The speaker, Murray B. McBride, will summarize the current state of science on the question of how the contaminants in sludge might affect the soil. His current research focus is on protecting crops grown in contaminated soil.