Third-generation dairy farmer Fred Stone pauses before forking up a load of hay for one of the few remaining cows on his spread in Arundel on Friday, April 15, 2022. Stone was forced to slaughter most of his herd after finding high levels of PFAS "forever" chemicals on his land in 2016. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

Maine is on the leading edge in the U.S. in researching — and responding to — PFAS contamination.  

The Bangor Daily News and Maine Farmland Trust are partnering to present a two part “PFAS 101 class” about the impacts of contamination, what Mainers need to know, and potential paths forward for the state. If you’re not already familiar with PFAS contamination, or if you’ve heard of it but have questions about what it means, we hope you’ll join us.

Panelists with expertise in food and farms, water and human health will participate in two conversations designed to lay out the basics of what is known about PFAS (and how big a deal it really is) and what comes next for Maine and the rest of the country.

Oct. 25, 5:30pm: What we know now

What are PFAS, what do they do to water, soil, food, and bodies, and how are they impacting agriculture and human health in Maine – and across the nation? Co-moderated by MFT’s Farm Network director Tricia Rouleau and BDN environmental reporter Mehr Sher, learn about how PFAS impact all of us and where we stand with our three panelists:

  • Meagan Hennessey, Director of PFAS Response — Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry
  • Dr. Jean MacRae, Associate Professor — UMaine Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Dr. Noah Nesin, Primary Care Innovation Adviser — Penobscot Community Health Care

Register here or get more information at bangordailynews.com/bdn-events/ 

Nov. 15, 5:30pm: What can be done

What can be done about PFAS contamination in our water, farmland, and bodies? Co-moderated by MFT’s vice president and deputy director Ellen Stern Griswold and BDN investigative editor Erin Rhoda, learn about current and future research and policy efforts with our three panelists:

  • Dr. Rachel Schattman, Assistant Professor — UMaine School of Food & Agriculture
  • Steve Woodard, Chief Innovation Officer, Emerging Compounds Treatment Technologies (ECT2)
  • Dr. Abby Fleisch, Pediatric Endocrinologist and Environmental Health Researcher — MaineHealth

Register here or get more information at bangordailynews.com/bdn-events/.

This event series is co-presented by the Bangor Daily News and Maine Farmland Trust, and sponsored by Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare with additional support from Report for America, the Unity Foundation, and BDN readers.