New Bill Would Bail U.S. Farmers Who Were Ruined by PFAS Pollution

( – The United States might pass a new bill soon that would help bail out the livelihoods of farmers who were affected by forever chemical pollution. The proposal is for a five hundred million dollar fund that looks to solve a crisis for the nation’s farmers when it comes to PFAS.

It would aim to increase evidence of a PFAS-contaminated sewage sludge that was used as a cheap fertilizer and poisoned crops and livestock. It will also look into four thousand farms that have been contaminated by PFAS from close by military bases.

The sludge that’s mentioned is a mixture of human and industrial waste that is the byproduct of wastewater treatment service. The Environmental Protection Agency allows it to be spread on cropland for biosolid fertilizer but its disposal is quite expensive. It’s been tested and found that this sludge contains a high amount of forever chemicals, which come from the sewage systems. Following this discovery, Maine banned these biosolids after it found out about the contaminated crops and water.

The proposal was included in the Senate’s Farm Bill and the funds available would be used to buy out farmers, monitor health, and remediate farms, or even fund the state-level testing for the dangerous chemicals. The bill was approved unanimously in Maine according to Sarah Alexander, executive director of the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association.

Alexander said, “Farms have been contaminated through no fault of their own and farmers shouldn’t be left holding the bag over chemical contamination.” She continued, “It’s critical to address PFAS holistically and the agricultural aspect of this has not been taken up yet.”

PFAS are a group of over fifteen thousand compounds that don’t break down naturally and are therefore called “forever chemicals.” These chemicals have been linked to multiple health problems such as cancer, kidney disease, liver disease, birth defects, high cholesterol, and decreased immunity.

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