Our mission is to provide educational sludge information on the health and safety risks to our food, water, communities and environment of the backwards and dangerous use of sewage sludge wastes as a false fertilizer and irrigation supply. There are various different types of sludge. We want to keep you in the know for what to look out for!
United Sludge Free Alliance is volunteers from all over America, a non-profit organization dedicated to shining an honest light on the issue of sewage sludge solids and liquid wastes disposal. By highlighting known dangers, contamination “mysteries”, industry-resistant science, political history, personal stories of community and worker contamination, alternative uses and actions that every citizen can participate in, we empower YOU to recapture your health, food, water, air, outdoor environments and the wonderful places we call home.
Our website is organized into topics as a way to approach the huge issue and implications of sewage sludge waste disposal. USFA’s encyclopedic approach is to give you the information as overview “bullets” at the start of each topic page, followed by a full article of researched information, original USFA text and to offer “suggested reading” of hundreds of scientific studies and articles from around the world. In an effort to present information that has not been paid for by industry for marketing goals, the bulk of the work you will find here is independent of industry influence but we will occasionally include relevant industry or government information to highlight specific studies or point out inconsistencies in the lack of claiming “safety” to citizens and the environment. Most of these support article are downloadable so you can print virtually everything for your personal use.
Welcome to the supportive community you’ve been looking for – real citizen volunteers who want you and your family to have healthy food to eat, water to drink and a safe place to call home! You deserve to have a healthy, happy life.
FAIR USE NOTICE: The material on this site is provided for educational and informational purposes. It may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. It is being made available in an effort to advance the understanding of scientific, environmental, economic, social justice and human rights issues etc. It is believed that this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have an interest in using the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. The information on this site does not constitute legal or technical advice.
Directors, Officers and Advisors
Darree Sicher, founder & president
With a family back-ground in defending humanitarian, environmental and community rights, Darree Sicher founded ‘United Sludge Free Alliance’ to provide information about the health and safety risks from sewage sludge wastes to America’s farmland, food, water and communities. Utilizing a common sense approach, real life experience and supported by real “industrial prostitute-free” science, United Sludge Free Alliance was designed to provide internet information, human coaching and networking for citizens nationally and worldwide. Darree’s outreach programs include conference presentations, television and radio appearances and published articles. Her background includes a fellowship with the Center for Progressive Leadership, various community board positions from PTA’s to refugee placement programs and organizing community resistance opposed to everything from Walmart’s to sewage sludge to water extraction. Motivated by the understanding that social justice and environmental justice issues are the same thing, she pushes the need for sustainable family lifestyles, farms and fuel sources and continues to educate and motivate citizens and bureaucrats alike.
Jayanthi Rajan, treasurer
Jayanthi Rajan is professor in the Business Department of Albright College and the William E.C and Mary Dearden Endowed Chair in Business. She joined Albright in 2006. Her previous teaching position was with University of Connecticut. She specializes in international marketing, consumer behavior, advertising and social media marketing. Prior to teaching, she spent 16 years in industry, working for major global advertising agencies, including Mindshare, J. Walter Thompson, Ogilvy and Bozell, and has handled media planning, digital media and strategic planning for global brands such as IBM, Unilever and Nike. Her areas of teaching interest include Marketing for Public Health. Jay has completed many courses in the areas of Global Health and Nutrition.
Darlene Schanfald, Ph.D., secretary
Organizational affiliations: Board Member of these nonprofits: Protect the Peninsula’s Future, NWToxic Communities Coalition, Olympic Environmental Coalition, and Friends of Miller Peninsula State Park. She is a Sierra Club WA State volunteer and head of its project Sewage Sludge Free WA. She is also on the Board of the Sierra Club WA State North Olympic Group.
She was elected to the Clallam County WA Home Rule Charter Commission, and has served on the that County’s Shoreline Management Plan Advisory Committee and its first Hearings Examiner selection committee.
She’s been involved in environmental activism since 1984 and has headed these major actions to successful and positive environmental conclusions: Banning Clallam County roadside herbicide spraying; opposition to building a food irradiation plant on the confluence of the Snake and Columbia Rivers; stopping WA State from ceding state park land to Mitsubishi; and initiating enforcement of clean up its hazardous waste throughout the community. As the WA State Department of Ecology oversees this latter cleanup, she’s been awarded state grants for nearly two decades to do the project’s public outreach and education. She is currently battling the U.S. Navy’s intent to establish an unneeded base in the hazardous waste cleanup area.
Born and raised on a livestock and grain farm, Joan has an innate passion for farming and the land. Her passions led her to pursuing a career in education, even while raising her family and maintaining a farming life on the lands she loves. Her intimate knowledge of farming and the goals of honoring the stewardship that working the landscape can offer led her to found the “Residents Against a Polluted Environment” in 1980, the oldest environmental organization in the state of Illinois. Her passion for humanity and willingness to defend and support those in need were recognized in 1997 with the “NEA/IEA Minority, Civil, & Human Rights Award”. She serves on the Executive Board of “PUSH”, a volunteer organization formed to preserve health & safety as well as land, air and water quality. Joan also serves on the LaSalle County Retired Teachers Association and as an Election Judge in her community.
Geary Davis is a passionate environmental activist, dedicated to protecting his community and the environment throughout the country. His determination to make the world a safer and more sustainable home for present and future generations has played out in his involvement as a board member or organizer in many environmental organizations including: Citizens Against Sludge Pollution, Friends of the Ogeechee which merged with other groups to form the Ogeechee Riverkeepers, and the Jefferson Environmental Defense Initiative. With 20 years as an environmental advisor, Geary’s determination and passion for the health and safety of his community, the world community and the environment will be a real asset to the USFA Advisory Team.
Colleen Fitzgerald, MA, MPA
Colleen fell in love with the hills and farmlands of Berks County after her first trip to Hawk Mountain in 1989 as an undergraduate at Kutztown University, and since then has had a life grow up around her in these hills. Over the years she has been involved with local activists and organizations on issues concerning the environment, public education and the arts, local and national politics, food security, and labor rights.
Mary Graf enjoyed a quiet life nestled in the countryside of the Virginia foothills where she and her husband raised their family and got satisfaction and enjoyment from their organic home garden – until the day they stumbled upon a flyer notifying the community of a neighborhood “farmer” planning to apply sewage sludge. Her community spirit and her natural abilities as a retired educator led her to search for the truth, delve into research, present to elected officials, organize meetings and embrace community rights.
Some harsh lessons learned from that experience were: 1- The blatant “sellout” of our rights as citizens by the very elected officials and bureaucracy charged to protect us, 2-Concerned citizens are no match for corporations, 3-regulators actually promote land applied sewage sludge, 4-misinformation and purchased “science” are stakeholders’ routine tools, 5- industry threatens legal action and/or physical harm to citizens when truth and justice close in on them. Undaunted, Mary is motivated by the effect on personal lives and the understanding that every citizen deserves quality food, water, air and communities. Embracing “You are what you eat and drink” reminds us all about our responsibility to be aware and watchful. It’s the only way to be sure that we’re feeding our families wisely and well.
Alex Jones works with small, locally focused farm and food businesses in and around Philadelphia, PA on marketing, sales, and planning. She also writes about food, farms, and urban sustainability for publications like Edible Philly, Edible Jersey, and Grid.
Ron Payton will be our Social Justice/Workers Contamination Advisor and has just started his “career” as an activist. As a single father raising his children in the Bay area, he ran a successful construction business for many years until moving to Los Banos for more affordable housing. His love of the outdoors never waned regardless of his home location or events in life. After a series of unfortunate events, his working career and health was cut short by exposure to chemical and sewage sludge contamination from a work assignment by his new employer. This “trial by fire” taught him much about the inadequacies of our chemical regulatory and legal system but also has permanently damaged Ron’s health to the point of physical disability. His trials have given him incredible insight, heightened his compassion to the issue of workers’ and farm workers’ contamination, and deepened his skills at investigating the cause of various contamination issues. His commitment to working to protect and assist others in danger of contamination and the link between farmland, farm workers and our food supply will be an invaluable asset to the United Sludge Free Alliance Advisory Team.
Betz Uber strives for a world of culture, art, music, history and intellectual stimulation. While her home base is in Arizona, with a degree in Liberal Arts and after 28 years in the travel business, her domestic and international explorations have contributed to her world view of a fair and just society in which clean and safe food, water, hometowns and natural environments are available universally. These healthy elements of nature are of paramount importance to her. Organizing, coordinating, shaping and classifying are also key elements to her character, personality and background. Working with good people and particularly this organization provides a solid foundation for her to contribute and participate in ensuring healthier places and planet for future generations.
Georgia Southern University 2002 graduate with a B. S. in Recreation Area/ Natural and Cultural Resource Management and a minor in Geographic Information Systems, Dianna is a business owner of Environmental Consulting & Investigative Services, consulting clients on environmental issues affecting their property and/or their family’s health. Her work routinely supports clients with legal issues and gathers field data for clients to be used in solving environmental problems. Managing all aspects of running an organization including: media relations, billing, and technology including websites, and social media.
Dianna’s past experience as Ogeechee Riverkeeper includes, lobbying members of state legislators and providing testimony before legislative committees; actively participated in coalitions of local, state and national organizations working cooperatively towards common goals. Dianna has routinely engaged in public relations, including speaking engagements, writing for publications, and providing commentary for print and radio news outlets, as well as managed all aspects of litigation including supervising attorneys, budgeting, communications and development, public relations, and strategy development. She has managed foundation giving including identifying potential targets, drafting grant proposals and reports, and developing and maintaining relationships with foundation staff.
President, Wood Industrial Health Associates, LLC, a private industrial hygiene consulting company providing service to the polyurethanes industry. Formerly manager of global industrial hygiene department for an international industrial gas, electronics, manufacturing, and specialty chemicals corporation for 34 years. Skilled in the full spectrum of management of a global industrial hygiene program, setting overall program direction for the company. Responsible for technical and administrative management of industrial hygiene professionals and technologists in North America, Europe and Asia. Developed and implemented complex industrial hygiene programs such as hearing conservation, respiratory protection, industrial /office ergonomics, and industrial hygiene technician training programs. OSHA regulatory expert and liaison. Provided direct customer service in support of product lines, and experienced in providing expert testimony related to employee and contractor claims. Has practical knowledge of project management, assessment techniques and control measures. Manager, Global Industrial Hygiene Services Air Products and Chemicals, Inc.
Non-discrimination Statement and Policy
Adopted by the Board of Directors on October 19, 2016
United Sludge Free Alliance does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations. These activities include, but are not limited to, hiring and firing of staff, selection of volunteers and vendors, and provision of services. We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, clients, volunteers, subcontractors, vendors, and clients.
United Sludge Free Alliance is an equal opportunity employer. We will not discriminate and will take affirmative action measures to ensure against discrimination in employment, recruitment, advertisements for employment, compensation, termination, upgrading, promotions, and other conditions of employment against any employee or job applicant on the bases of race, color, gender, national origin, age, religion, creed, disability, veteran’s status, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.