The presence and persistence of PFAS contamination in soil, water, and crops is an emerging national issue, and Maine is on the leading edge in the country in learning about PFAS, their impacts on agriculture and human health, and how to address PFAS contamination.

Person preparing mulch

Rapid Response

MFT is working closely with the state and many other partners to increase testing, research, and support for Maine farmers who may be impacted by PFAS in Maine, and to advocate for robust state and federal support. Any farm dealing with PFAS contamination can apply to the PFAS Emergency Relief Fund, jointly administered by Maine Farmland Trust (MFT) and Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA), to help cover the cost of testing, income replacement, and more. 

For more information, download FAQs about PFAS contamination and what to do if you are concerned about contamination on your farm. (English | Spanish)

Get Help

We’re here to help you navigate PFAS contamination on your farm. 

PFAS Emergency Relief Fund

MFT and MOFGA are jointly administering a PFAS emergency relief fund to support any Maine farm dealing with potential per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination. The fund has four primary purposes at this time:

  • To help pay for initial PFAS testing on farms that choose to do their own testing.
  • To provide short-term income replacement for farms that the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF) has identified as having high test results.
  • To invest in infrastructure adaptations to help PFAS impacted farms remain viable.
  • To reduce the emotional impact of the PFAS crisis by funding wellness costs and supporting access to mental health services for impacted farmers.

This fund is meant to serve as a safety net for farms, providing interim support from initial PFAS testing to when they can access DACF’s longer-term PFAS support programs. Income Replacement Grants and PFAS Testing Grants are now available to eligible farms. Applicants self-identified as Indigenous producers of food and medicine do not need to meet commercial farm eligibility criteria for the PFAS Testing Grants. Wellness grants are available to cover the cost of broadly understood investments in stress relief and mental health.

PFAS Testing Grants

The PFAS Testing Grants Program, administered by MFT and MOFGA, assists farmers who have concerns regarding potential PFAS contamination. The Program will pay for:

  • Testing of home or irrigation water for contamination with these chemicals
  • Testing of farm soil
  • Testing of farm products

A simple application form will assess eligibility for the program and several farms will be selected upon a weekly review to participate in the program.

Eligibility and prioritization:

  • All commercial farms (a farm that sells at least $2,000 to consumers outside of the household) are eligible.
  • Applicants self-identified as Indigenous producers of food and/or medicine do not need to meet commercial farm eligibility criteria.
  • Farms must state that they require financial assistance for PFAS testing.
  • Farms who are seeking to test materials associated with land that was licensed and/or spread with biosolids.
  • Farms that derive at least 50% of their family income from their farm will be prioritized.
  • Farms classified as “Tier 1” licensed sites will be prioritized.
  • The program is available to farms whose lenders are requiring a water and/or soil test
  • Farmers who are located on licensed sites who had to pay for testing to investigate their risk prior to the establishment of this program on March 1, 2022 may seek reimbursement for tests that are ineligible for reimbursement from state agencies due to having low test results.

We have limited resources and unfortunately may not be able to fund all eligible applications. Award decisions will be made according to available testing program funds, applicant eligibility, and priorities.


Test results will only be shared with MFT or MOFGA.


  • Farms submit an application here.
  • MFT and MOFGA will review applications weekly and determine award recipients and amounts based on eligibility, priority sites, and amount of funding available.
  • MFT and MOFGA will pay testing fees directly to cooperating consultants and laboratories.
  • For water sampling awards, we will provide instructions to recipients on how to collect samples in cooperation with Maine Environmental Laboratory.
  • For all other sampling awards, testing will be scheduled and collected in cooperation with Northern Tilth.
  • For farmers seeking reimbursement for tests taken before the program launch, we will pay the farmer directly.

If you’d like a paper application, you can download a printable version here, or call Tricia at 207-338-6575.

PFAS Farmer Wellness Fund

Farms affected by PFAS contamination have a wide variety of needs to enable financial stability, wellness, and, where possible, future farm viability. This fund is intended to holistically support farmers and farmworkers impacted by PFAS contamination and is being jointly administered by Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) and Maine FarmlandTrust (MFT). Awards will be no more than $500, and available no more than 1x per month. 



Farms that have participated inthe PFAS Emergency Relief Fund for PFAS income replacement or infrastructure programs, or received equivalent types of funding from state of Maine programs.


The funds are used to support farmer wellness on an individual basis. As farmer wellness is broadly defined, there is a wide range of eligible uses for this fund including therapy, childcare, acupuncture, gift cards to purchase uncontaminated food and/or water, massage, traditional healers, and other supports that would help reduce stress at this time. See more examples on the application form.


Farms who have participated in the PFAS Emergency Relief Fund income replacement or infrastructure programs will be notified by MOFGA and MFT of their eligibility. MOFGA/MFT will also contact DACF to ask them to notify additional eligible farms who have received state financial assistance. Farms submit a Google form application requesting wellness grants. Farmers will be notified if they are approved for a grant, and grants will be administered on a rolling basis. Please contact Sav Eades with any questions:

Request a wellness grant

Income Replacement Grants

Income Replacement Grants replace lost business income for farms that have paused or reduced farm sales due to PFAS contamination. Farms will receive interim support through weekly checks based on their prior farm income, the availability of funds, and the needs of other farms. Meanwhile, the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF) is working to establish its own PFAS Income Replacement Program that will provide long-term funding for this purpose.

The program is open to farms that receive test results that show contamination in water, farm soils, crops or livestock and are referred to us by DACF with the recommendation (from DACF or CDC) that the farm should pause sales pending further analysis.

Farms wishing to participate should take the following steps to enroll:

1. If you have tested for PFAS contamination and received results that indicate high levels, contact Nancy McBrady, bureau director at Maine DACF,, 207-287-7522. If you have not yet tested for PFAS, find information about testing here.

2. After contacting Nancy McBrady, she will provide a referral to MFT and MOFGA, confirming high levels of PFAS contamination and the need to stop sales that will make farmers eligible for the Income Replacement Program.

3. Farm enrollment will be complete when the farm is contacted by a representative from MFT or MOFGA and the following elements are received:

  • Verification that the farmer earns at least 50% of their family’s income from the farm business.
  • The farm has stopped sales of contaminated products.
  • A W-9 form and a recent Schedule F from the farm.

Participants enrolled in the Income Replacement Program are paid bi-weekly through MFT and MOFGA until they begin receiving payments from DACF’s PFAS Income Replacement Program or the fund runs out of money. Participants agree to have their income replacement award deducted from the payment they receive from the Maine Income Replacement Program. That deducted portion of their award from DACF will be used to replenish MFT and MOFGA’s emergency fund that will continue to support contaminated farms.

PFAS Infrastructure Investment Program

Farms affected by PFAS contamination have a wide variety of needs to enable financial stability and, where possible, future farm viability. MFT and MOFGA administer funding to cover the upfront costs of infrastructure necessary to farmers’ responses to PFAS contamination while DACF develops longer-term support programs.

Farms who have test results that show contamination in water, farm soils, crops, livestock or products (for water, contamination must be above action threshold), and are referred to us by DACF with the recommendation (from DACF or CDC) that the farm should invest in noted appropriate infrastructure.

Any infrastructure expenses


  • Farms who have tested, contacted DACF with their results, and identified necessary infrastructure investments needed to continue production safely.
  • DACF refers the farm to MFT/MOFGA, confirming contamination and their recommendation that the farm pay for noted infrastructure.
  • Farms send MFT/MOFGA a cost estimate and timeline from the infrastructure vendor. MFT/MOFGA will share that cost estimate and timeline with DACF for approval.
  • MFT/MOFGA meet weekly to assess the capacity of the fund to cover the upfront costs of approved infrastructure investments until DACF contracts are in place to directly cover the costs of noted infrastructure, or until budgeted funds run out.

Contact us at any time with questions.

PFAS Tax Preparation Support

Farms that have received funding from DACF, the Maine PFAS Fund and/or the Maine Farm Emergency Relief Fund for PFAS face new tax implications as a result. MOFGA and MFT see a need for providing financial support to these farms to navigate the implications of their participation in PFAS related support programs.

Farms have participated in the Maine Farm Emergency Relief Fund (MFEF) for PFAS income replacement or infrastructure programs, or received equivalent types of funding from state of Maine programs. Participants in the MFEF testing and mental health programs alone are not eligible for support.

The funds are used to directly pay a tax advisor or reimburse a farmer for tax advice or preparation services related to their participation in PFAS financial support programs.


  • Farms who have participated in the MFEF income replacement or infrastructure programs will be notified by MOFGA and MFT of their eligibility. MOFGA will also contact DACF to ask them to notify additional eligible farms who have received state financial assistance. 
  • Farms submit a Google form application requesting financial assistance for tax advice and preparation.

Apply for tax preparation support

This fund is supported in part by:


What are PFAS?

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of chemicals including PFOA, PFOS, and many other chemicals that are very persistent in the environment and in the human body. PFAS have been produced and used in a variety of products and industries since the 1950s, ranging from food packaging to firefighting foam. Studies suggest that these chemicals may have negative effects on the human body.

How do PFAS affect Maine farms?

PFAS enter agricultural soils through a variety of means, including biosolids from municipal sewage and contaminated irrigation water, and from there they may be taken up by plants and then by animals, as well as into the drinking water of farmers. Since PFAS chemicals were widely used, they can still end up in wastewater treatment plants and other waste products from everyday household activities and industrial sources.

The application of residuals (which include industrial waste products and biosolids) on agricultural land was permitted and regulated by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) until LD 1911 was passed in May 2022, since these products contain nutrients which can enhance agricultural production. However, residuals may also contain PFAS, especially in the past. Since PFAS are persistent in the environment, the application of residuals decades ago can still impact PFAS levels in the soil today.

Beginning in 2019, the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF) began testing Maine-produced fluid pasteurized milk to determine the level of one chemical, PFOS, in Maine’s milk supply, since residuals were often applied to dairy farms. Based on the survey results, DACF has high confidence in the safety of Maine-produced milk. However, several individual dairy farms have been found to have elevated levels of PFOS in milk, and are currently working with DACF to address contamination issues. Maine is one of the few states that has established screening levels to assess the level of PFAS contamination for products such as meat and milk (Maine does not yet have screening levels for any plant sources).

Maine DEP has expanded their testing of sites suspected to have PFAS/PFOS based on application of residuals. As testing expands, more and various types of farms are likely to become aware of PFAS contamination, and DACF, MFT, MOFGA and others are working together to be ready to support farms through research and direct assistance to identify alternative production and business strategies. Currently, the DEP has identified roughly 700 sites where residuals have been applied, located in nearly three dozen “Tier 1” towns throughout the state. These sites have been deemed to be at higher risk of contamination, and DEP has begun testing sites at the top of that list. The goal is to test all Tier 1 sites by 2023, and test all sites where residuals have been applied by 2025. More information about the state’s testing process and timeline can be found here.

What should Maine farmers do?

MFT staff are here to help answer questions and navigate resources related to PFAS. Maine Farmland Trust easement holders can reach out to your land steward anytime or email Hannah Chamberlain at You are also welcome to email PFAS-specific questions to

If you are concerned about or experiencing PFAS contamination on your farm:

What’s being done to address PFAS contamination in Maine?

Maine is on the leading edge of learning about and dealing with PFAS, but Maine has a strong core of farm supporters and organizations like MFT that are committed to supporting farmers. That means that Maine is in a strong position to tackle this issue and create effective strategies to support farmers through this crisis. Many organizations are working together with state agencies to respond to the issue.

What is MFT doing?

MFT is working to support farmers and farmland in a variety of ways, including:

  • Listening closely to farmers and creating programs that respond directly to their needs.
  • Together with MOFGA, gathering a number of resources related to testing water, soil or forage, and establishing and administering a PFAS Emergency Relief Fund to support PFAS testing, mental health, and income replacement.
  • Working with MFT’s Forever Farms to keep easements intact, while providing significant flexibility to support impacted farmers to ensure that easements neither add stressors nor hamper farmers’ ability to pivot their farm business.
  • Advancing policy priorities that stop the ongoing spread of PFAS on farmland and ensure impacted farmers receive the support that they need. Two important state policy developments in Maine’s response to PFAS include: the passing of LD 1911, which banned the land application of PFAS-contaminated sludge and compost derived from sludge; and the inclusion of $60 million in the supplemental budget to support PFAS-impacted farmers in areas like income replacement, health monitoring, research on soil remediation and relocation services. Learn how you can get involved in policy work like this here.
How can I help?

MFT is investigating all of the existing state and federal sources of support for farmers confronting or concerned about PFAS contamination. We will be engaging in advocacy efforts to help ensure that farmer needs are addressed. If you would like to hear about opportunities to get involved in the future, please sign up for our email list to receive updates and action alerts.

PFAS PSA: Maine Farmers Need Our Support

Questions about PFAS in Maine? Reach out.

We’re here to help you move forward. Fill out the form below to get in touch. 

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Get In Touch

Tricia Rouleau, Farm Network Director

Tricia Rouleau

Farm Network Director

Tricia Rouleau

Farm Network Director

Tricia Rouleau, Farm Network Director