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Politics

Maine Bill Aims to Increase Testing for Arsenic in Private Wells

AUGUSTA, Maine - A bipartisan group of legislators has introduced a measure that aims to bolster the rate of testing for arsenic in the tens of thousands of private wells across the state.

Wendy Brennan of Mt. Vernon spoke in support of the legislation at a State House news conference Thursday.  Brennan said her family has suffered from health issues caused by drinking water with high arsenic levels.

“I’m here today because I want to make sure what happened to my family doesn’t happen to others," Brennan said. "We must all do what we can to make sure everyone has safe drinking water available.”

Federal studies indicate that less than half of the state’s households that rely on well water test for arsenic. Lawmakers supporting the legislation argue that the state needs to do more to educate well owners and achieve a statewide goal of 65 percent testing by 2020.

Gov. Paul LePage vetoed a similar bill two years ago.  Supporters hope this time they will have enough votes to pass the bill over the governor’s objections.