Op-ed in BDN by Haedicke and MacRae discusses banning agricultural use of wastewater sludge
Michell Center faculty fellows Michael Haedicke, associate professor of sociology, and Jean MacRae, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, wrote an opinion piece for the Bangor Daily News about how Maine needs to do more than ban the agricultural use of wastewater sludge to limit people’s exposure to PFAS.
Haedicke and MacRae explained that though Maine’s new law prohibiting agricultural use of wastewater sludge is a step in the right direction for public health and environmental quality, there are new problems generated by the practice. Diverting sludge to landfills will help to contain PFAS and limit exposures, but it places the financial burden on municipalities, which may be passed on to residents in the form of higher sewage rates or property taxes. It will also use up limited landfill space more quickly.
Haedicke and MacRae note that getting to a safe, circular food system should be a critical priority for Maine policymakers in order to limit people’s exposure to PFAS.