Read the full article by Kevin Miller (Maine Public Radio)

“State environmental officials say the costs of investigating and addressing contamination with so-called ‘forever chemicals’ are rising exponentially in Maine and could reach tens of millions of dollars a year.

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection has identified roughly 700 sites located in nearly three dozen towns throughout the state that have been deemed to be at higher risk of contamination with the chemicals known as PFAS. Used for decades in a broad range of consumer products as well as firefighting foams, some varieties of PFAS have been linked to cancer, kidney malfunction and other serious health problems.

The DEP has begun testing sites at the top of that list, but the process is expected to take several years.

During a legislative committee on Monday, DEP commissioner Melanie Loyzim was asked how much she expects the department will ultimately spend annually on testing, remediation and installation of water treatment systems. The Legislature earmarked $30 million in the current budget to cover those costs as well as to begin offering financial assistance to impacted farmers.

‘Probably somewhere on the order of $10 (million) or $20 million a year, potentially, easily,’ Loyzim told members of the Environment and Natural Resources Committee. ‘Hopefully we are about to find the worst of it and everything will be better from there. We hope for the best and prepare for the worst, I guess. But these are numbers that we can’t even begin to really reliably estimate at this point yet.'”…