Dairy Farm Pollution Spurs New Testing for Toxic PFAS before Sludge Spreading

Environmental Health Strategy Center
News Releases


In response to an announcement made today by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) that it will require the testing of all sludge material licensed for land application in the state for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), the “forever chemicals” that ruined a dairy farm and its milk and drinking water in Arundel, Maine, the Environmental Health Strategy Center issued the following statement from Mike Belliveau, Executive Director:

“We applaud Maine DEP’s leadership in making sure that sewage sludge is free from highly toxic ‘forever chemicals’ before its allowed to be spread on the land again. This protective action builds on Governor Mills’ commitment to find​ing​ and end​ing​ PFAS pollution and its threat to public health and Maine’s environment.

In addition to making sure that future sludge spreading is free from unsafe PFAS pollution, we look forward to Maine’s next steps, which must include:

  • Test all farm fields where sludge was spread in the past to find any other PFAS contamination that may threaten farmers and the safety of our food and water;
  • Defray the costs for all Maine farmers who have been potentially harmed by PFAS pollution, and must test, investigate, and clean up the toxic mess;
  • Phase out all PFAS still used in consumer and commercial products to prevent pollution at its source.

We all learned a tragic lesson after Stoneridge Farm in Arundel, Maine was ruined by PFAS pollution from spreading of industrial waste and sewage sludge as fertilizer. No farm family should suffer like the Stones have, and no one’s milk or water should have unsafe levels of these chemicals ever again.”