AUGUSTA — The Legislature’s Environment and Natural Resources Committee voted unanimously Feb. 7 to advance a bill sponsored by Rep. Paige Zeigler, D-Montville, that would address per- and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) pollution at Juniper Ridge, a landfill owned by the state.

As amended, LD 1875 directs the Maine Department of Administrative and Financial Services, Bureau of General Services to conduct a study of the methods to treat leachate, liquid that has passed through matter and contains soluble or suspended solids, to reduce the concentration of PFAS to the extent possible at the state-owned solid waste landfill.

In conducting the study, BGS will seek input from stakeholders who are directly affected by leachate from the landfill entering the Penobscot River, including the Penobscot Nation, as well as with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, as necessary. BGS will also contract with experts in landfill engineering, wastewater, leachate treatment technologies and other relevant backgrounds as needed.

The resolve further requires a report back to the Environment and Natural Resources Committee on or before Jan. 15, 2023, with the findings and recommendations from the study.

The bill will face additional votes in the House and Senate in the coming weeks.