American Biogas Council

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WARNING! Sewage sludge is toxic. Food should not be grown in "biosolids." Join the Food Rights Network.

The American Biogas Council is, according to its own website, "the first anaerobic digestion (AD) industry association in the United States that represents a full range of anaerobic digestion technologies and projects, including farm-based digesters, centralized facilities processing a variety of municipal and industrial organic waste streams, and existing digesters at municipal wastewater treatment plants."[1]

Toxic Sludge Gasification Controversy

"Centralized facilities processing a variety of municipal and industrial organic waste streams" is PR spin for sewage sludge facilities. EPA whistleblower Hugh Kaufman has called gasification, or using sludge to generate methanol or energy, the "most environmentally sound approach, but also the most expensive," to sludge disposal. However, anaerobic digestion of sewage sludge, while it reduces the volume of the sludge and heats it to a temperature that kills many pathogens, still leaves behind what the industry calls "digestate" or, more specifically in this case, "biosolids." These "Class A Biosolids" (so-called because the Environmental Protection Agency has stricter limits on pathogens and "vector attraction" for Class A than for Class B Biosolids, i.e. they must not attract disease-carrying insects or rodents, etc.) still contain other sludge contaminants, including Dioxins and Furans, Flame Retardants, Metals, Organochlorine Pesticides, 1,2-Dibromo-3-Chloropropane (DBCP), Naphthalene, Triclosan, Nonylphenols, Phthalates, Nanosilver, and thousands more substances.

The EPA's 2009 Targeted National Sewage Sludge Survey (TNSSS) concluded that all sewage sludge, Class A, Class B or otherwise, contains toxic and hazardous materials, including large numbers of endocrine disruptors. The TNSSS results are described in two EPA reports published in 2009. EPA found that dozens of hazardous materials, not regulated and not required to be tested for, have been documented in each and every one of the sludge samples EPA took around the USA.[2] And yet Class A "Biosolids" may be applied to cropland with no restrictions and sold or given away to gardeners as "organic fertilizers," and hundreds of municipalities and companies do so.

The American Biogas Council was an exhibitor at the 2011 BioCycle 11th Annual Conference on "Renewable Energy from Organics Recycling" and listed as a conference sponsor. BioCycle Magazine is a publication serving the interests of the sewage sludge industry.[3]


Board of Directors

(As of November, 2011[4]:)

  • Paul Greene, Vice President, O’Brien & Gere (ABC Chairman)
  • Norma McDonald, North American Sales Manager, Organic Waste Systems (ABC Vice-Chair)
  • Melissa VanOrnum, Marketing Manager, GHD, Inc. (ABC Treasurer)
  • Nora Goldstein, Editor, BioCycle Magazine (ABC Secretary)
  • Shane Chrapko, Co-CEO, Highmark Renewables
  • Wayne Davis, Co-founder, Harvest Power, Inc.
  • Kerry Kelly, Director, Federal Public Affairs, Waste Management, Inc.
  • Amy McCrae Kessler, EVP & Head of Legal and Regulatory Affairs, Turning Earth, LLC
  • Christine McKiernan, VP Engineering, Verliant Energy Partners
  • Shonodeep Modak, Market Development Manager, GE Energy, Jenbacher gas engines
  • Bernie Sheff, President, UTS Residual Processing, LLC


(As of November, 2011[5]:)

  • Patrick Serfass, Executive Director
  • Paul Greene – O'Brien and Gere, Chairman
  • Norma McDonald – Organic Waste Systems, Vice-chair
  • Melissa VanOrnum - GHD, Inc., Treasurer
  • Nora Goldstein - BioCycle Magazine, Secretary


(As of November, 2011[6]:)

  • Patrick Serfass, Executive Director (TTC)
  • Josh Lieberman, Marketing and Membership (TTC)
  • Andre Cutair, Graphics, Publications and Web site (TTC)
  • Cordelia Pearson, Finance (TTC)
  • Maureen Walsh, Legislative and Regulatory Affairs (ML Strategies)
  • Bryan Stockton, Legislative and Regulatory Affairs (ML Strategies)


(As of November, 2011[7]:)

  • 2G-Cenergy Power Systems Technologies Inc
  • AAT America Inc
  • Acala Partners, Inc
  • AEA Natural Systems
  • AgPower Group
  • Agrienergy Producers' Association of Ontario
  • Agroenergy
  • Aikan North America, Inc
  • Alexander Kates DiGiorgio
  • Alten LLC
  • Amanda Bilek, Great Plains Institute
  • American Crystal Sugar Company
  • Anchor-International, LLC
  • Andgar Corporation
  • Andrew Moss
  • Ben Grodsky
  • BBI International
  • BioCycle
  • BioEnergy Technologies, Inc.
  • BIOFerm Energy Systems
  • Biomass Power and Thermal
  • Bio-Methatech Canada
  • Boerger, LLC
  • BTS Italia Srl/GmbH
  • California Association of Sanitation Agencies
  • California Bioenergy LLC
  • Caterpillar
  • Christiaens Group
  • City of Des Moines Wastewater
  • Clean Energy Fuels Corporation
  • Clean World Partners
  • Clear Horizons LLC
  • Coker Composting & Consulting
  • Columbia Business School
  • Cornerstone Environmental Group
  • Dane County Department of Public Works Highway and Transportation
  • David Border Composting Consultancy
  • Deaton & Associates, LLC
  • District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority
  • DODA USA, Inc
  • Doug Ross
  • Effluential Synergies LLC
  • Eisenmann Corporation
  • Electrigaz Technologies, Inc
  • Element Markets, LLC
  • enbasys gmbH
  • Endeavor Electric, Inc.
  • Energy Solutions-OTB, LLC
  • Energy Systems Group
  • Entec Biogas USA
  • Environmental Credit Corp.
  • Environmental Fabrics
  • EnviTec Biogas AG
  • Essential Consulting Oregon, LLC (EC Oregon)
  • Evergreen Recycling Inc
  • Everstech Consulting
  • Exergy New Energy
  • Fair Oaks Dairy
  • FBi Buildings, Inc.
  • Ferdowsi University of Mashhad
  • FGH Keogh & Associates, PLLC
  • Flotech Services NA, Ltd.
  • Freeman White
  • Gaia Strategies
  • GaiaRecycle, LLC
  • GE Energy (General Electric)
  • Geomembrane Technologies Inc
  • GHD, Inc
  • Green Power Conferences
  • Green SEED Energy
  • Grober Group of Companies
  • Guascor North America
  • Guenther Supply, Inc
  • Harvest Power, Inc
  • Highmark Renewables
  • Homeland Biogas Energy
  • Humboldt Waste Management Authority
  • JSH International
  • Landia, Inc.
  • Lance Wright
  • Martinez-Ayme Securities
  • McGuireWoods LLP
  • Mercuria Energy America, Inc
  • ML Strategies
  • MT-Energie USA Inc.
  • Municipal Biogas
  • MWM of America, Inc
  • MWM of America, Inc
  • National Association of Clean Water Agencies
  • National Milk Producers Federation
  • NEO Energy, LLC
  • Northeast Energy Systems/Western Energy Systems
  • Northern Biogas
  • O'Brien & Gere
  • OmniGreen Renewables
  • Organic Matters, Inc
  • Organic Waste Systems, Inc.
  • Pace Energy and Climate Center
  • Pecos Valley Biomass Corp
  • Peyton Wise
  • Quest Recycling Services
  • Reading Electric Renewables
  • REEthink, Inc
  • Rollcast Energy
  • Ron Gonan
  • Ron Skinner
  • Ronald Puthoff
  • Ros Roca
  • SCC Americas
  • Sandvik Process Systems
  • Scenic View Dairy, LLC
  • Science Policy Works International
  • Sheland Farms
  • Sievers Family Farms, LLC
  • Silver Hill Partners LLC
  • Silvernail Consulting, LLC
  • Sprucegrove Investment Management Ltd.
  • Stoel Rives LLP
  • Strategic Conservation Solutions
  • Strategic Management Group
  • SUMA America, Inc
  • SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry
  • Swedish Biogas International
  • Terra Viva, Inc.
  • The Climate Trust
  • The Stover Group
  • Todd Thorner Biogas
  • Turning Earth, LLC
  • TW2E Holding BV
  • University of Wisconsin - Platteville
  • US Composting Council
  • UTS Residual Processing LLC
  • Vaughan Company, Inc.
  • Verliant Energy Partners
  • VOW Resources
  • Waste Management, Inc.
  • Yield Energy
  • Zero Waste Energy LLC

Contact Information

1211 Connecticut Ave, NW
Suite 600
Washington, DC 20036-2701
Phone: 202-640-6595
Contact Form:

Legislative Affairs

Paul Greene, ABC Chairman
Phone: 518-758-2179

Patrick Serfass, Executive Director
Phone: 202-904-0220


Other SourceWatch Resources


  1. American Biogas Council, Mission Statement, trade group website, accessed November 3, 2011
  2. Environmental Protection Agency, TNSSS: EPA-822-R-08-016 and EPA-822-R-08-018, January 2009
  3. BioCycle, Exhibitor Directory, publisher's website, accessed November 3, 2011
  4. American Biogas Council, Board, organizational site, accessed November 3, 2011
  5. American Biogas Council, Board, organizational site, accessed November 3, 2011
  6. American Biogas Council, Board, organizational site, accessed November 3, 2011
  7. American Biogas Council, Membership List, organizational site, accessed November 3, 2011
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