Read the full article by Lori Valigra (Bangor Daily News)

“Maine regulators have identified 700 sites in three dozen towns that are at a higher risk of contamination from the ‘forever chemicals’ found in consumer products and sludge spread on some Maine farms and linked to cancer and kidney disease.

The state may need to spend at least $20 million annually to remediate contamination from per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, which are increasingly being found in land and water here, according to Maine Department of Environmental Protection estimates. That does not include business losses from tainted dairy, eggs, meat and other products.

The Bangor Daily News asked Nancy McBrady, director of the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry’s Bureau of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources, about what farmers can do to ensure land is safe and what to do if they find PFAS contamination on their land. The questions and answers are edited for clarity and brevity.

PFAS chemicals are widespread in Maine. How is the state working to assure a safe food supply?

Everything starts with data collection and information gathering. If historical records indicate that sludge may have been spread on the land, and the current owners are not the ones who spread the materials, then attempting to confirm with prior owners (or the licensed generator who provided the sludge) is an important first step. If that is unavailable, testing soils and groundwater in the location of the potential spreading comes next.”…