Moose Creek farmer using sewage as fertilizer loses permit

    A Moose Creek farmer has lost a permit to fertilize his land with human waste after Fairbanks North Star Borough officials found his operation had become larger than what he had initially proposed.

    FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — A Moose Creek farmer has lost a permit to fertilize his land with human waste after Fairbanks North Star Borough officials found his operation had become larger than what he had initially proposed.

    The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports the borough's Planning Commission voted Tuesday to revoke Robert Riddle's permit, which he received in 2007. His attorney, Bill Satterberg, says he will appeal the decision.

    The permit allowed Riddle, who also owns a septic tank pumping company, to use sewage to fertilize his land. But planning officials claim collection and storage of septic sludge has become the primary activity at the farm — not agriculture.

    Satterberg says his client grows hay, potatoes and peonies on the land and called the commission's decision an "example of the eroding of farming" in Alaska.

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