Read the full article by Tom Mooney (The Providence Journal)
… “In Rhode Island, PFAS testing is focused and expanding on identifying sources of contamination in ground and surface waters, and setting standards for the ubiquitous chemicals found everywhere – including in most humans.
The state does not currently test for PFAS in deer, Mike Healey, spokesman for Rhode Island’s Department of Environmental Management, said in an email.
Healey noted that in Maine, the fields around Fairfield were known to have high levels of PFAS, thus helping to identify an area of deer habitat worthy of testing.
In Rhode Island the state Health Department and the DEM share oversight of PFAS testing and ‘both agencies would need to agree to a new policy of testing deer for PFAS.’
Healey, however, shared the same potential economic and environmental concerns raised by Maine sportsmen and biologists if sometime in the future a similar discovery of elevated levels of forever chemicals were found in Rhode Island’s deer population.
Managing the deer population
‘As hunting is the most effective way to manage deer populations,’ a health advisory like the one issued in Maine “could make managing deer and other species far more difficult,” said Healey.
Hunters might opt out of the annual harvests, Healey said, leading to more deer over-population, an increase in car/deer collisions (each year about 1,000 in Rhode Island, 1,163 in 2020) and destruction of forest habitat from over grazing.
And the loss of hunting-generated income ‘would be profound.’
Former State Police Supt. James Manni, an avid deer hunter, says he’s concerned about forever chemicals now appearing in wild game.” …