Read the full article by Kevin Miller (Maine Public Radio)
“Agricultural and environmental groups are calling on state lawmakers to pass a bill prohibiting sludge spreading in Maine as additional farmers come forward to disclose PFAS contamination on their land or in their water.
Standing outside of the Maine State House on Wednesday, Brendan Holmes said Misty Brook Farm in Albion pulled its dairy products from store shelves two weeks ago after high levels of the ‘forever chemicals’ known as PFAS were found in the farm’s milk. Holmes said the contamination was traced to hay purchased from a neighboring farm that was fertilized with sludge in the past. So he joined several speakers urging the Legislature to pass a bill banning the once-common practice of spreading treated municipal sludge on fields as well as the sale of compost made from sludge.
‘I’m stubborn, I won’t give up and my farm won’t fold but I need your help,’ Holmes said. ‘I need your help financially and I also need this bill to pass so that we quit this insanity of poisoning the best agricultural land in the state of Maine.’
Wednesday’s event was organized by the groups Defend Our Health, the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, Maine Farmland Trust and the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy. The two farm groups are working closely with state officials as they begin investigating more than 700 sludge application sites that are considered high risk for PFAS contamination based on the source of the sludge.
Many states have allowed treated municipal sludge to be used as fertilizer. But a growing number of farms in Maine are discovering PFAS contamination linked to sludge that likely contained waste or wastewater from industrial plants that used PFAS, such as papermills.”…