LD 1911 is a bill that has been introduced that seeks to come up with a solution for the unfortunate spreading of PFAS contaminated sludge in the 1980’s and 1990’s. Below are summaries of the bill. The Maine Work Boots Alliance believes that the minority report is the most sensible solution at this time and that an outright ban would cause more harm than good.
The majority report would ban the land application and sale of sludge and biosolids in Maine, with a carve-out for sludges from facilities that process agricultural materials – food, food waste, crops, or vegetative material. Picking and choosing which types of sludge to ban would result in exempting some products that have detectable levels of PFAS while banning a number of products that test de minimis or non-detect for PFAS. Additionally, such a ban would: destroy biosolids recycling in Maine (which is contrary to our climate change goals); result in dumping 20,000 additional tons of sludge in the State-owned landfill in Old Town; drive up costs for Maine farmers, landscapers, and horticulturalists; and increase the utility bill of every Maine family.
The minority report would ban the land application and sale of sludge and biosolids in Maine unless those materials tested below 25 parts per billion for PFOA and 50 parts per billion for PFOS. This would be the strictest PFAS standard for soil and compost in the country. This thoughtful, science-based approach would treat all sludge and biosolids the same and would result in a better and safer solution for the land application and composting of all residuals.