Organic Maine farmers face a surprised PFAS contamination crisis

A pair of organic farmers in Maine got a nasty shock last December when they tested their soil and well water and found high levels of PFAS, Modern Farmer reports. They halted all farming operations, and soon learned sludge and wastewater containing PFAS—or so-called “forever chemicals,” which have been linked to a broad range of negative health impacts—had been spread on their land in the early 1990s. Thirty years later, the groundwater still contains 400 times the state’s threshold for the chemicals. A few months after the initial discovery, nearby farmers discovered a similar problem in their cows’ milk. Local farming organizations have now rallied around farmers in the impacted area, and the state legislature is considering bills that would stop the further spread of PFAS. —H. Claire Brown