Studies have been conducted in the East Coast Region of the United States challenging USEPA's determination that municipal sewage sludge dumpers fail to meet ocean dumping criteria.
Laboratory testing of liquid phase and bioassay and bioaccumulation of the Bergen County (New Jersey) Utilities Authority's digested sludge has been performed. The results indicated that the digested sludge falls within the required criteria and would not cause an adverse harmful effect on the marine environment. Inherent in the EPA's interpretation of the law is that other land-based alternatives to ocean dumping are not only feasible, but offer less relative environmental risks. The case against E PA's interpretation is increasingly apparent from studies indicating more severe risks from land-based alternatives.