Read the full article by Malachy Flynn (The Ellsworth American)

TRENTON — The Trenton Select Board on Aug. 23 voted to set aside $20,000 to test wells in the town for PFAS (per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances) chemicals.

PFAS chemicals are also known as ‘forever chemicals’ because they do not easily break down in the environment or the body. Studies have linked them with increased risk of various cancers, endocrine disorders and birth defects, among other health problems. Testing for the presence of these chemicals was deemed to be an approved use of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding, and the $20,000 will be appropriated from that funding.

Trenton resident Christina Heiniger is the spokesperson for PFAS Free Trenton. The group is dedicated to testing local water for the harmful chemicals and ensuring that drinking water in the town is safe.

‘We’re a group of Trenton residents and we formed a little over a year ago,’ Heiniger said. ‘We joined together because the Trenton Elementary School tested for high levels of PFAS chemicals.’

The level of PFAS chemicals found in the elementary school’s water supply was 33.9 parts per trillion, which is higher than the state standard of 20 parts per trillion for drinking water. This issue was remediated last fall, but many residents are still concerned about other water sources in the town.

‘We only know that there was kind of a hotspot around the school, and we want to know if there are other areas,’ Heiniger said.

With the $20,000 of ARPA funding set aside, the town will be able to purchase 100 tests, which will be available for the residents who have signed up to have their wells tested through PFAS Free Trenton. Over 100 residents of the town have already put their names on the list for testing.” …