Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — NEWFANE — A representative of the Wheatfield Against Sewer Sludge group addressed the Newfane Town Board on Wednesday, encouraging town residents to research equate.
Laurie Galbo, a Wheatfield resident who is part of a large group of citizens concerned about equate, a fertilizer derived from biosolids including human waste, expressed concerns that its maker, Quasar, will be approaching Newfane farmers to spread it in the near future.
“You must do your research and learn about equate and the impact it would have financially, environmentally and on the health and safety of residents in your town,” Galbo said.
Galbo attended the meeting with her friend, Cheryl Ward, a Newfane resident. She said she's worried that the presence of equate in Wheatfield has already put the farmers' markets there in jeopardy.
“Many people have already said that they aren't going to purchase any food produced by farmers who use equate on their fields. There will be impacts on farmers' markets if this is spread in Newfane,” Galbo said.
Galbo shared some of her findings about equate, including possible health risks and a listing of hazardous chemicals found in sludge products.
Town councilman Marcus Hall said that Quasar has not yet contacted the Town of Newfane seeking to spread equate, and to his knowledge the company has not contacted any local farmers either.
Farms that are fertilized with equate can't grow food for human consumption for two years after the application. Hall said many farmers in Newfane couldn't afford to let their fields sit empty that long.
“I've talked to a lot of area farmers about this. Many of them say they won't use this product," he said.
Hall, who grew up on a farm, said the Town of Newfane is being proactive in addressing the equate issue before it materializes.