Read the full article by Kevin Miller (Portland Press Herald)
“Health and environmental advocates say the discovery of record-high levels of a “forever chemical” on a Maine dairy farm highlights the need for legal changes to ensure property owners can hold polluters accountable.
Last week, state agriculture officials revealed that milk from a Central Maine dairy farm contained up to 150 times more of a highly persistent chemical than the state allows. Although no longer produced in the U.S. because of its toxicity, the industrial compound PFOS as well as its chemical cousins in the PFAS family are showing up in drinking water supplies, sludge and now on farms across the country.
The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry identified the farm on Monday as Tozier Family Farm in Fairfield in response to a public information request from the Portland Press Herald. State officials said the farm is no longer selling milk or beef, and the public was never at risk because the small farm’s output was diluted with milk from many others during the processing and bottling stage.
Earlier Monday, the owner of another Maine dairy farm that has become a PFAS hotspot joined health and environmental advocates to urge lawmakers to pass a bill that aims to ensure property owners have legal recourse against parties responsible for such pollution. A legislative committee will hold a public hearing on the bill Tuesday.
‘It’s always been my goal, I guess, to try to make sure that no other farm in our area – southern Maine, Maine or even New England – have gone through the type of meat grinder that my wife and I have gone through over the last two to three years,’ said Fred Stone, owner of Stoneridge Farm in Arundel. ‘It’s been a horrible situation.’
Stone contends that PFAS showed up in his farm’s soils and drinking water because of the municipal sludge that he used as fertilizer for years on his hayfields through the state-licensed program. Stoneridge Farm is now ‘virtually worthless’ because of the contamination, which showed up in Stone’s milk at levels 20 times lower than the milk in Fairfield…”