The topic of human waste-based sludge has reared its ugly head once again, and Paul D. Perry, Ellis County Commissioner, Pct. 3, is tackling the issue head on.

“I have clearly taken a stand against the reintroduction of human waste-based sludge for any use, including ag. I am in full support of property rights; however, as the Founders of our country often indicated, a property owner’s rights stop at the end of a neighbor’s nose,” said Perry. “In this case there is more at stake than just odor. This material contains human fecal matter (including pathogens), noxious chemicals, and medical metabolites.”

The Ellis County Commissioners’ Court has been on record since May 27, 2014, asserting its opposition to the application of this material. The court’s efforts ultimately resulted in the sludge providers pulling out of Ellis County — for the most part.

Preceding the court’s actions, Perry said he had widespread odor complaints, reports of fish kills in private ponds from runoff from adjoining properties, reports of schools in the southern part of Precinct 3 canceling recess due to the stifling odor, health concerns, reports of noxious piles of human waste on roads and right-of-ways and reports of significant amounts of product being distributed in such a way that it landed on property where there was no permission to deliver.

“One of my jobs as your commissioner is to defend your right to enjoy your property,” Perry added.

To that end, Perry said he has been in contact with a potential sludge provider, other elected officials and appropriate regulatory agencies on behalf of the citizens of Precinct 3 and Ellis County in general.

“The distribution of sewage sludge may be unwise anywhere; it is certainly unwise in our growing and populous county,” said Perry. “Ellis County should not be Dallas and Tarrant counties’ toilet.”