Earlier this month, Maine Farmland Trust’s Municipal Policy Associate Thacher Carter had the opportunity to…
This month, we’re celebrating Maine’s food and farm advocates’ hard work, which resulted in the passing of two landmark bills in the Maine Legislature.
A Big Step Forward to Help PFAS-Impacted Farmers
One of the biggest challenges in the fight against PFAS in Maine is supporting the farmers who are shouldering the financial and health impacts of this crisis. The Legislature’s Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee recently voted to include $60 million in the supplemental budget for a farmer support fund (included in LD 2013). Although we were pushing for a larger amount of funding, this is a huge development for Maine meeting the challenge of PFAS contamination on our farms and farmland! Thank you to all of our members and supporters who responded to our action alerts and contacted members of the Appropriations Committee to urge them to provide robust support to farmers impacted by PFAS contamination.
Background on LD 2013 Farmer Support Fund
Our farmers need robust support to address the health and financial impacts of PFAS contamination, and Maine needs robust support for research and remediation so that we have the farmland we need for our future. LD 2013 would provide that assistance by establishing a fund and associated advisory committee to invest $100 million in farmer support needs such as:
- Income replacement and mortgage payments,
- Health monitoring,
- New infrastructure, business models, and farm management practices,
- Relocation services and the buying of contaminated agricultural land, and
- Research to support the development of Maine’s agricultural sector in this new context, including research on soil remediation.
You Helped Keep PFAS Off of Maine Farms
We did it! The Maine Legislature recently voted to pass an amendment to LD 1911 to ban the land application of PFAS-contaminated sludge and compost derived from sludge, and prohibit the sale of compost derived from PFAS-contaminated sludge in Maine. Thank you to all of our members and supporters who took action on this bill and helped protect farms and farmland from PFAS contamination!