Lehigh Valley

Upper Mt. Bethel official resigns over sludge spat involving Ron Angle

UPPER MOUNT BETHEL TWP., Pa. - An Upper Mount Bethel Township official has resigned over a sludge-to-fertilizer dispute involving former Northampton County Councilman Ron Angle.

Bob Gerwig on Wednesday confirmed his resignation as a member of the township Board of Supervisors.

Gerwig said he resigned last week because he strongly disagrees with the supervisor board's decision to create a $60,000 fund to pay for conventional fertilizers for farmers, instead of them using so-called sludge.

The use of human waste as farm fertilizer has been a hot topic after Angle expressed interest in using it on 300 acres of his farmland, which he said is already permitted by the state DEP. Many residents have said they fear sludge fertilizer would harm the environment.

Gerwig says the township's new fertilizer fund will "pay off the farmers as a response to a blackmail scheme by Ron Angle."

Gerwig contends Angle's effort with the sludge fund is a scheme to pay farmers.

The township says only farmers who qualify for sludge would be entitled to use the money in the newly created fund.

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