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Maine delegation wants the federal government to support farmers affected by PFAS

Forever Chemicals Sludge
Robert F. Bukaty
In this Thursday Aug. 15, 2019 photo, hay dries after a recent cut at Stoneridge Farm in Arundel, Maine. The farm has been forced to shut down after sludge spread on the farm land was linked to high levels of PFAS in the milk.

Maine's congressional delegation wants the federal government to provide grants to states to help farmers whose land is contaminated with the "forever chemicals" known as PFAS.

Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King along with Reps. Chellie Pingree and Jared Golden are sponsoring bills that would authorize federal financial assistance for affected farmers. The bills would also authorize grants to expand PFAS testing in states, to pay for health monitoring for affected individuals and to study ways to clean up water or soil polluted with PFAS.

Ongoing investigations by Maine state agencies have identified more than 50 farms around the state with unsafe levels of PFAS. The contamination was likely tied to fertilizing fields with treated sludge that unknowingly contained the chemicals, which have been linked to cancer, kidney disease and other health problems.