Maine’s strong policy response could mitigate future expenses, but short-term expenditures are proliferating and many costs remain untallied.
Invisible and Indestructible
With Maine facing escalating costs from contamination due to ‘forever chemicals,’ work is under way to recoup some losses.
Found in water, air, soil, food, consumer products and work settings, “forever chemicals” pose risks to both physical health and mental well-being.
Under Maine’s phased-in PFAS ban, manufacturers will soon be required to report on PFAS types and volumes in products, but the state is granting many businesses a 6-month extension.
Individual actions can minimize exposure to “forever chemicals” until policy measures, like Maine’s ban on PFAS in products, take effect.
Risks from ‘forever chemicals’ have ended a half-century of spreading sludge onto Maine farmland and raised unanswered questions about contamination of foods.
Maine enacted legislation to foster use of safer food packaging materials, but three years later the state has yet to begin rule-making.
From countless scattered sources and historic hotspots, ‘forever chemicals’ enter surface water and groundwater, eventually reaching marine ecosystems. Along the way, citizens and scientists are working to assess the effects of PFAS.
PFAS Plume: New data suggests contaminants in town water supply may come from former Brunswick Naval Air Station
‘Forever chemicals’ can show up in aquifers long after their historic use, prompting the need for costly drinking water monitoring and treatment.
The process to assess PFAS treatment options for leachate at state-owned landfills appears to be proceeding without a full understanding of the current disposal arrangements and the mandated engagement of ‘interested parties.’
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