AUGUSTA — Gov. Janet Mills on May 2 signed into law LD 1875, a plan to treat PFAS effluent in state-owned landfills.

Introduced by Rep. Stanley Paige Zeigler, D-Montville, the bill was an emergency measure and became effective immediately.

Zeigler aimed the bill particularly at the Juniper Ridge Landfill in Old Town, where leachate from the state-owned facility is contributing to PFAS contamination of the Penobscot River. LD 1875 passed in the Legislature on April 25.

The measure requires state-owned waste disposal facilities 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. It also requires treatment to occur prior to shipment to a wastewater treatment facility or for the leachate to be sent to a facility that has the necessary technology to reduce the concentration of PFAS.

The new law further requires the Maine Department of Environmental Protection to adopt rules to establish technology requirements, ensuring the implementation of those requirements within three years and for the monitoring of the efficacy of the installed system.

“The impact of leachate from Juniper Ridge entering the Penobscot River is of significant concern, especially since the Penobscot Nation depends on the fish in the river,” Zeigler said. “We know from the dairy farm in Arundel, the private wells in Fairfield and the ‘do not eat’ advisory on deer harvested in the communities surrounding Fairfield that PFAS has a lasting impact on both the environment and the human body.”