Maine coalition group raises concerns over bill regarding PFAS contamination

Published: Apr. 8, 2022 at 8:02 AM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - A coalition called Maine Work Boots Alliance gathered at the State House Thursday, to share their concerns about a bill that would prohibit the contamination of clean soils with forever chemicals containing PFAS.

The bill would prohibit sludge from being spread on farmland unless it is tested for PFAS.

The alliance says the bill is misguided and does not address the issue of PFAS found on farms and in drinking water.

They also say the ban of biosolid recycling will harm Maine farmers, businesses, and taxpayers.

“If we lose any more farmers, that means we’re going to have to import more. I mean, we’re already at maybe 10% of what we consume here in the state of Maine. That’s what we produce here. And if we have to import, it is going to be coming from places that don’t have the same strict monitoring standards”, said David Hughes, Superintendent of Scarborough Sanitary.

Sarah Woodbury, director of Advocacy for Defend our Health, was also at the press conference.

She supports the bill saying the health of the farming community is at stake.

“Based on new health information coming from the agency of Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, which is a federal agency that looks at toxics and health impacts, Maine’s current standards are already too high. So, going backwards and setting them at an even higher standard makes no sense. You’re adding even more toxic to the land than is currently allowed. So, we’re very confused about that,” said Woodbury.

Woodbury says the state can’t keep allowing companies to profit from contamination.

The alliance is seeking an amendment to the bill.

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