The Maine Work Boots Alliance is a coalition of farmers, landscapers, garden centers, municipal sewer districts, septic haulers, biosolids recyclers and other businesses that oppose the proposed ban on municipal biosolids, the majority report to LD 1911.
Banning municipal and industrial biosolids would require more than 20,000 tons of biosolids and sludge be buried at the State-owned landfill in Old Town each year. This would saddle wastewater treatment districts and septage operators with significant transportation and disposal costs and would increase sewer and septage bills for every Maine family.
Biosolids recycling reduces carbon emissions that contribute to global warming, reduces fertilizer and pesticide use, enhances soil health, and lowers farmers’ costs. These benefits would be lost as a result of a ban.
The recent discovery of elevated PFAS levels on several Maine farms is tragic. This likely occurred decades ago from a single source before PFAS levels were measured and regulated. By contrast, the use of biosolids today is much more closely regulated than 30 years ago. Research indicates that typical biosolids with no direct large industrial inputs are unlikely to impact ground and surface waters at levels above EPA’s health advisory level for drinking water, even with repeated applications.
The Work Boots Alliance supports a better – and safer – solution: establish a ceiling for PFAS in all biosolids, sludge and septage that is land applied in Maine (without creating exemptions that aren’t based on any science, as the majority report does). This regulation would be the strictest in the country. It would protect Maine people and farms from elevated exposure to PFAS and preserve beneficial recycling that improves our environment.
If you would like to join the coalition, or need more information, please contact Ben Lucas, government relations specialist, by calling (207) 623-4568, ext. 111, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.