AUGUSTA, Maine — The budget weighed by the Maine Legislature’s Appropriations Committee includes funding to hire three additional scientists to monitor and control pollution in tidal waters.

There are currently six people overseeing water quality and pollution threats along Maine’s coast, and the Food and Drug Administration has been pressuring the state to expand its water quality staff.

David Etnier from the Department of Marine Resources says it’s important to meet FDA’s demand to ensure that clams, mussels, oysters and other shellfish can be shipped out of state.

Etnier tells WCSH-TV that funding would come from surcharges on permits for new or rebuilt private septic systems and overboard waste discharge systems. The full Legislature would have to approve the plan.