DEP Announces Testing of All Sludge Materials Before Land Application
March 22, 2019
Contact: David Madore, Communications Director, DEP (207) 287-5842 email@example.com; Emily Spencer, Acting Director of Communications, Maine CDC (207) 213-5756 firstname.lastname@example.org
AUGUSTA, MAINE, March 22, 2019 - The Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced today that it will require the testing of all sludge material licensed for land application in the state for per- and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS). The Department has set an aggressive schedule for testing which must be concluded before any sludge material can be land applied.
"The Maine Department of Environmental Protection is committed to addressing the issue of PFAS contamination in Maine and has been working to proactively identify areas of potential concern," said Maine DEP Commissioner Jerry Reid. "The Department is moving forward with the additional testing requirement to ensure that any future land applications of sludge are safe."
DEP sent a letter today to producers of sludge materials proposed for land application to inform them of the newly-established test requirement and to direct them to prove that all the sludge is below regulatory levels before it can be applied.
The practice of spreading sludge as a soil amendment has been a common practice in Maine and across the nation for decades. Land application of sludge material occurred long before there was knowledge that it may contain PFAS or the health implications of PFAS.
Earlier this month, Governor Janet Mills signed an Executive Order creating a Governor's Task Force to mobilize state agencies and other stakeholders to review the prevalence of PFAS in Maine and put forward a plan to address it.
Questions regarding health concerns from exposure to PFAS should be directed to Maine CDC at 866-292-3474 (toll-free in Maine). Additional information regarding PFAS can be found at: https://www.epa.gov/pfas/basic-information-pfas