On Oct. 18, Gov. Mills welcomed an announcement
from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that it is launching a comprehensive Strategic Roadmap to confront PFAS contamination nationwide.
“PFAS contamination is a devastating problem in Maine, hurting peoples’ lives and livelihoods. That’s why we have taken aggressive action to identify and mitigate the impacts of PFAS across the state,” Mills said. “While Maine is leading on PFAS discovery and response, having the resources and support inherent in Federal leadership will be a significant benefit. I applaud the EPA for its commitment to addressing PFAS.”
U.S. Senator Susan Collins, a senior member of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, announced Oct. 19, that she secured $1,600,000 in the draft Fiscal Year 2022 Interior Appropriations bill to support the installation of a PFAS treatment system at the Anson Madison Sanitary District wastewater treatment facility, which will serve the entire state of Maine. The bill, which was released by the full Appropriations Committee, must still be voted upon by the full Senate and House.
The U.S. EPA’s action followed a call from Governor Mills
for the Federal government to assist Maine in its efforts to address PFAS contamination. It also follows a series of aggressive actions Maine has taken under the governor’s leadership to address PFAS contamination, including:
- Establishing drinking water standards for PFAS,
- Establishing containment and reporting requirements for firefighting foam containing PFAS,
- Installing more than 125 drinking water treatment systems,
- Establishing wastewater sludge testing requirements and eliminating land spreading of PFAS contaminated sludge,
- Establishing screening levels for PFAS in soil, wastewater, fish tissue and milk, and
- Expanding the statute of limitations for Maine citizens to file claims for PFAS contamination.
Additionally, moving forward, the Mills administration plans to sample more than 700 sites where wastewater sludge has been spread, install drinking water treatment for all homes that have tested over Maine’s drinking water standard for PFAS, and require manufacturers to report PFAS content in all products sold into Maine beginning in January 2023.