Read the full article by Charlie Eichacker (Maine Public)

“A new lawsuit claims that a Skowhegan paper mill is responsible for the toxic chemicals that are now being found in dangerous levels in the well water of a neighboring community.

For five years, Fairfield residents have felt a growing sense of alarm about that class of man-made chemicals, which are widely known as PFAS, or ‘forever chemicals,’ and have been used to manufacture everything from pizza boxes to fire fighting foam. 

First, they were found in high concentration in the milk and wastewater sludge at a local dairy farm. Since then, dangerous levels have been found in the water of more than 40 private wells and testing is ongoing for 20 others. 

Now, the owner of one of the wells, Nathan Saunders, has sued several past and present owners of the Sappi Paper mill in Skowhegan. One of his attorneys, Brian Mahany, says Sappi used PFAS to make paper food packaging, then allowed the chemicals to enter the surrounding community as landfilled and composted wastewater sludge…”