PFAS bills go before committee
AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - Two bills related to the forever chemicals known as PFAS went before the legislature’s Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry on Tuesday.
The committee heard public testimony for over three hours on a bill that would establish a fund to address PFAS contamination in the state.
It authorizes the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry and the corresponding committee to allocate funds for things like monitoring the health of people exposed to the chemicals, buying and selling contaminated agricultural land, and assisting with educational programs.
The bill provides one time funding of $100 million to address these issues.
”We’re driven hard working Mainers who are not looking for a handout, but Maine farmers today shouldn’t be shouldering the burden of decades old bad decisions made by the state. We need the state of Maine to step step up and pull their fair share of the cost of these mistakes,” said Adrienne Lee, New Beat Farm.
“While we applaud the intention of this bill, the lack of clarity and direction gives us pause. First and foremost, we believe $100 million is inadequate to address the immediate and devastating impact of farmers that have been identified as potentially contaminated on the map published by the Department of Environmental Protection,” said Julie Ann Smith, Maine Farm Bureau executive director.
The other bill that went before the committee would require the registration of certain substances in Maine to regulate pesticides with PFAS.
It prohibits people from using such pesticides.
Several people spoke against it with concerns for changing the definition.
Both bills will now move to a work session within the committee.
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