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Collins And Pingree Ask EPA To Address 'Forever Chemicals' Found In Farms, Drinking Water

PFAS farms
Robert F. Bukaty
In this Thursday Aug. 15, 2019 photo, dairy farmer Fred Stone pauses while working in the milking room at his farm in Arundel, Maine. Fred Stone and his wife Laura, whose dairy farm is contaminated by toxic chemicals known collectively as PFAS, so-called "forever chemicals," have high PFAS levels in their blood.

Maine's Republican Sen. Susan Collins and First District Democratic Rep. Chellie Pingree are asking the Environmental Protection Agency to take action to address contamination involving a class of so-called "forever chemicals" known as PFAS.

They have been found in high concentration on former military base sites, and in a number of consumer products, such as nonstick cookware, food packaging, and rain gear.

In their letter to the agency, the lawmakers cite two examples of unacceptably high levels of PFAS found in milk produced on farms in Arundel and Fairfield, which has been traced to contaminated waste water sludge. They say little federal aid exists for such farms.

Collins and Pingree also raise concerns about the state's 53 public drinking water systems, pointing to the Kennebunk-Wells water system that recently spent $1.5 million on PFAS remediation.

The EPA has just recently created a Council on PFAS.