PFAS Assistance

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About DACF PFAS Financial Assistance

DACF’s goal is to support farmers facing PFAS contamination to make adjustments that allow them to remain in business and ultimately produce safe food. These changes often require significant financial resources, which DACF is currently able to provide through both the PFAS Response Program and the PFAS Fund.

The PFAS Response Program works directly with PFAS-impacted commercial farms to identify sources of contamination, recommend mitigation strategies, and provide both agricultural technical assistance and financial assistance supporting the necessary changes. The PFAS Fund was established to provide dedicated funding to support a comprehensive response to PFAS contamination of agricultural land. The Master Application below can be used to access financial assistance from either program.

Please note that DACF PFAS financial assistance programs are subject to change. Payments to producers may be considered reportable income by the IRS and/or Maine Revenue Services, and producers are responsible for payment of all taxes. All financial assistance programs are subject to funding availability.

Master Application: Assistance for PFAS-Impacted Commercial Farms

The Master Application is a single, multi-part application that producers can use to apply for financial assistance from both the PFAS Response Program and the PFAS Fund.

In general, commercial farms are eligible for the assistance listed below if:

  • the commercial farm has DACF-confirmed unsafe levels of PFAS contamination, defined as:
    • one or more samples of farm products showing PFAS exceeding current Action Levels or deemed of concern by the Maine CDC, and/or 
    • groundwater test results exceeding Maine’s enforceable interim drinking water standard for PFAS until superseded by either Maine’s Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) for PFAS or a federal MCL for PFAS, whichever is lowest, for wells servicing the farm or fields, and/or 
    • soil test results exceeding any current Maine CDC crop-specific screening level; and 
  • The commercial farm has partnered with DACF to investigate the scope of contamination at the farm and has granted ongoing access such that DACF staff are able to develop an understanding of the farm, its PFAS contamination, and potentially a strategy for recovery. 

A commercial farm is a farm that produces any farm product with the intent that the farm product be sold or otherwise disposed of to generate income. 

Some sections have additional or different eligibility requirements. These will be noted within the relevant sections of the Master Application.

The Master Application (PDF) should be used to apply for any of the following types of financial assistance.

All applicants must complete Section 1, General Applicant Information (PDF) and a vendor form (select the first form under “Vendor”).

Additionally, complete any of the following sections, as applicable:

Section 2, Administrative Cost Grant (PDF): A one-time grant intended to partially compensate commercial farms for time spent on activities common to most farms upon the initial discovery of PFAS contamination. 

Section 3, Income Replacement (PDF): Commercial farms that have stopped selling some or all products due to PFAS contamination may apply to DACF for up to a total of 24 months of lost income, adjusted for inflation.  

Section 4, Technical Assistance / Professional Services (PDF): Financial support for professional services to help guide recovery efforts (e.g., business planning, marketing support, others). 

Section 5, Clean Feed Assistance (PDF): Financial support for clean feed when it is necessary for the health and welfare of livestock and to achieve depuration goals in the absence of clean feed from the farm. 

Section 6, Equipment and Input Costs (PDF): Financial support for equipment and related input costs to allow a commercial farm to convert its operations to accommodate new products and production methods. 

Section 7, Infrastructure (PDF): Financial support for infrastructure projects (permanent physical assets and structures) that will help a commercial farm transition to new products and production methods. 

Section 8, Debt Service on Existing Loans (PDF): Payment of loans directly related to farm infrastructure built/installed prior to the discovery of PFAS contamination (e.g., high-tunnel, greenhouse, farm store) that (1) have not yet contributed to incomer OR (2) are no longer useful to the producer because of PFAS contamination. 

Section 9, New Loan Assistance (PDF): Financial support for costs associated with obtaining a new loan (e.g., payment of fees for a guaranteed loan, commercial loan insurance, or environmental site assessments required by a lending institution). 

Appeal Procedures (PDF)

Additional DACF Financial Assistance

Farm Testing Reimbursement Payment Program +

DACF can reimburse producers who self-test for PFAS at their farms (soil, farm water, and other media, such as milk or feed). The reimbursable costs include third-party contractors who performed the sampling and laboratory fees. However, these test results must be from a DEP-approved laboratory, and they must be shared with DACF. In addition, there must be a verified history of sludge/septage application at the farm, or history that the farm utilized off-farm manure, feed, or other inputs contaminated with PFAS, or be located near a DEP-identified location that received sludge/septage.

For more information, please review the:

Questions about testing reimbursement? Email

The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) and Maine Farmland Trust (MFT) also have a PFAS Testing Grant program open to both organic and conventional farms and may be able to assist.

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Farm Water Treatment Program +

This program covers the cost of water filtration systems necessary to reduce a farm's PFAS-impacted water to below the state's current interim drinking water standard of 20 ppt (measuring the sum of 6 PFAS compounds). DACF will cover yearly maintenance, testing, and replacement parts. To qualify, the farm's well water must exceed 20 ppt and be impacting the safety of the farm’s product(s), and DACF staff must be working with the farm to mitigate PFAS impacts. DACF will work with farms on a case-by-case basis to determine when water filtration systems are necessary, and to determine the appropriate size and scope of the system. No application form is required at this point.

For more information, please review the Water Treatment Guidance (PDF).

Questions about installing a water filtration system due to PFAS contamination? Email

Residential wells meeting certain criteria are also eligible for water filtration systems, under the oversight of DEP. You can request testing of your residential well. You may also contact with questions and review their guidance.

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Livestock Depopulation Funding +

PFAS contamination on farmland can lead to animals becoming contaminated at levels that will be extremely difficult to depurate (reduce) in a timely or economically feasible manner. In some instances, DACF may determine that it is in the best interest of the farm to humanely euthanize the impacted animals. This fund provides compensation for the value of those animals, with rates set by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Note that DACF's funding may not cover dairy cows, as dairy producers who participate in the USDA's separate Dairy Indemnity Payment Program (DIPP, outlined below) will have the ability to seek such assistance under that program.

Questions about livestock depopulation? Email

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PFAS Fund: Land Acquisition and Stewardship

Use this form if you are interested in having DACF purchase PFAS-contaminated farmland (PDF). The PFAS Fund will purchase eligible properties at the fair market value as if there were no PFAS contamination. To be eligible, a property must be a commercial farm that has partnered with DACF to investigate the extent of PFAS contamination, and the current landowner(s) must have owned the real estate prior to the discovery of PFAS (with two narrow exceptions). Once acquired by the State, these properties will be managed with a long-term goal of returning the land to agricultural production whenever possible.

Additional PFAS-Related Resources

External Financial Resources

  • Maine Farmland Trust (MFT) and the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) jointly administer a PFAS emergency relief fund to support any Maine farm dealing with potential per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination. The fund supports testing, mental health services, short-term income replacement, and infrastructure investments.
  • United States Department of Agriculture
    • Dairy producers are now eligible to receive a payment for loss of dairy cows because of contamination, including PFAS contamination. USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) has updated the Dairy Indemnity Payment Program (DIPP) to address permanent milk contamination. To learn more or to participate in DIPP, contact your local USDA Service Center or email Amanda May, Agricultural Program Specialist at
    • USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) offers financial assistance for sample collection and laboratory analysis to provide information to producers to determine if PFAS might be present in soil or water on their agricultural operation. Contact your local USDA Service Center.

Mental Health

  • PFAS contamination can be extremely stressful for farmers, farm families, and farmworkers. Please refer to DACF’s list of mental health resources
  • UMaine Cooperative Extension’s Wellness and Resilience Programs offer a variety of resources to assist farmers in managing stress, e.g., crisis helplines, resilience resources, farm coaching, and the Maine Agricultural Mediation Program.
  • The PFAS Farmer Wellness Fund is an element of the MFT/MOFGA emergency relief fund. It is intended to holistically support Maine farmers and farm workers impacted by PFAS contamination by providing up to $500 per person to pay for wellness expenses. 
  • Cultivemos is dedicated to advancing the well-being of agricultural producers, workers, and their families through accessible and effective mental health care and assistance programs.
  • Maine Mobile Health offers mental health counseling and referral for farmers and farm workers and offers services in English, Spanish or Haitian Creole. You have to be registered with the Maine Mobile Health network. Call (888) 351-9634, or email

Physical Health

Drinking Water

DEP Testing of Sludge and Septage Spread Sites

Resources for Food Producers

Federal Agencies

DACF Contacts

Information Disclaimer: The information provided on this web site is only intended to be general summary information for the public. While the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry strives to make the information on this website as timely and accurate as possible, the department makes no claims, promises, or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the contents of this site, and expressly disclaims liability for errors and omissions in the contents of this site.