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New sludge rules in Maine amid farm contamination concern

March 25, 2019

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine officials say they’ll start using new controls of the use of sludge amid concerns from a dairy farm in the state about chemical contamination.

State records say sludge spread at Stoneridge Farm in Arundel was a source of perfluoroalkyl substances, also known as PFAS. The Maine Department of Environmental Protection says it’s going to require testing of all sludge material licensed for land application for per- and polyfluoroalkyl.

The department says it has set an “aggressive schedule for testing which must be concluded before any sludge material can be land applied.”

Sludge is spread on farms to serve as fertilizer and improve soil quality in Maine and around the country. The Maine DEP says it has been used since “long before” knowledge it might contain PFAS, a persistent pollutant.