Read the full article by Molly Shelly (Central Maine)

“A Portland-based nonprofit group has joined forces with state representatives, health care professionals and residents to push several bills through the Maine Legislature that would deal directly with the cleanup and regulation of ‘forever chemicals’ in food, farmland, drinking water and household products.

At a news conference Thursday morning, Patrick MacRoy, deputy director of Defend Our Health, reiterated the organization’s mission and discussed how the group has called upon the state to change its guidelines on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances PFOA and PFOS since 2019.

‘Defend Our Health is a nonprofit public health organization that is working to create a world where all people are thriving with equal access to safe food and drinking water, healthy homes and products that are toxic free and climate friendly,’ MacRoy said. ‘We at Defend Our Health have been raising the alarm on this issue since we first stood at Fred Stone’s farm in 2019.’

‘We’ve been calling on the state to stop PFAS at its source by eliminating its use in products, prevent additional contamination of farmland and to identify and remediate previously contaminated sites and drinking water. Since that day at Stoneridge Farm in 2019, the problem has only continued to grow across the state and too little has been done to stop it.’

In 2016, the Kennebunk, Kennebunkport & Wells Water District found elevated levels of PFAS in a well on the property of Fred Stone, whose family had run Stoneridge Farm for nearly a century.

Following the discovery of the contamination, Stone was forced to stop selling milk and had to kill off more than half of his herd.

A similar situation unfolded in February 2020, when milk from the Tozier Dairy Farm in Fairfield was found to have levels of perfluorooctanesulfonic acid that were higher than the state-allowed limit of 210 parts per trillion.

Milk samples from the farm had levels of 12,700, 14,900 and 32,200 parts per trillion. The farm’s products were pulled from shelves in June 2020.

Investigators believe the contamination of both farms came from the use of sludge, which is wastewater solids that can come from municipal or industrial sources. It is said to have organic benefits and is allowed in Maine and other states.

Following the discovery at the Tozier Dairy Farm, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection began testing residential wells nearby and has found 29 wells in Fairfield that have levels of  PFOA and PFOS that are higher than the EPA’s maximum limit of of 70 parts per trillion.

In response, Defend Our Health and two state representatives are introducing seven bills in the 130th Legislature to deal with PFAS from many angles…”