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LD 2013 would help protect farms against PFAS contamination. Photo: farmer digs shovel into dry soil.

Take Action on LD 2013 to Support Farmers Impacted by PFAS Contamination

The presence and persistence of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination in soil, water and crops is an emerging national issue, and the unfolding information about PFAS in Maine is alarming, especially for farmers, whose health and livelihoods are at risk. The application of PFAS-contaminated sludge or residuals decades ago by farmers who were unaware of the presence and health risks of PFAS can still impact PFAS levels in the soil and water today. Sludge application has led to the contamination of at least nine family farms and hundreds of residential wells, and this number is likely to increase as the state ramps up testing on over 700 sites across Maine.

The future of farming in Maine depends on how we meet the challenges of PFAS contamination on our farms and farmland. 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 and selling of agricultural land, and
  • Research that is necessary to support the development of Maine’s agricultural sector in this new context, including research on soil and water remediation methods.

YOU CAN TAKE ACTION ON LD 2013

The Maine Legislature’s Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (ACF) Committee will be holding a hearing on LD 2013 on Tuesday, March 15th at 9am. Please consider submitting written testimony and/or signing up to deliver oral testimony in support of the bill here. Once there, select “public hearing,” select the Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee, the date of the hearing (March 15th at 9am), and the bill title (LD 2013 – An Act Relating to Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances Contamination in the State). You will then be able to upload written comments and/or sign up to provide live testimony. If you have any questions, you can always email the ACF clerk, Cheryl McGowan, at acf@legislature.maine.gov.

You could also contact the members of the ACF Committee to express your support for LD 2013. The members of the Committee include:

Sen. James F. Dill, Chair (D-Penobscot): James.Dill@legislature.maine.gov
Sen. Chloe S. Maxmin (D-Lincoln): Chloe.Maxmin@legislature.maine.gov
Sen. Russell Black (R-Franklin): Russell.Black@legislature.maine.gov
Rep. Margaret M. O’Neil, Chair (D-Saco): Margaret.ONeil@legislature.maine.gov
Rep. David Harold McCrea (D-Fort Fairfield): David.McCrea@legislature.maine.gov
Rep. Scott Landry, Jr. (D-Farmington): Scott.Landry@legislature.maine.gov
Rep. Laurie Osher (D-Orono): Laurie.Osher@legislature.maine.gov
Rep. Randall C. Hall (R-Wilton): Randall.Hall@legislature.maine.gov
Rep. Thomas H. Skolfield (R-Weld): Thomas.Skolfield@legislature.maine.gov
Rep. Susan Bernard (R-Caribou): Susan.Bernard@legislature.maine.gov
Rep. Jeffrey Gifford (R-Lincoln): Jeffery.Gifford@legislature.maine.gov
Rep. Joseph Underwood (R-Presque Isle): Joseph.Underwood@legislature.maine.gov
Rep. William D. Pluecker (I-Warren): William.Pluecker@legislature.maine.gov

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