Sen. Brenner named co-chair of advisory committee that will oversee new Fund to Address PFAS Contamination
AUGUSTA – Sen. Stacy Brenner, D-Scarborough, has been appointed by Senate President Troy Jackson to serve as co-chair of the advisory committee that will oversee the Fund to Address PFAS Contamination. The primary mission of the advisory committee will be to make recommendations on the use of the fund.
“Over the last two years, my colleagues and I in Augusta have made strong progress in addressing PFAS contamination and preventing further proliferation throughout our state,” said Sen. Brenner. “One of the most important actions we took was to set aside $60 million for a new PFAS trust fund – money that will be absolutely critical as we support affected Mainers, expand our testing capacity and work to remediate contamination. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to help decide how this money is used and ensure we’re doing all we can in order to protect public health for future generations.”
The committee will consist of 15 members, and its primary mission will be to make recommendations on use of the Fund to Address PFAS Contamination. To that end, they will research and consult with stakeholders, including holding at least two public hearings annually and taking public comment. Additionally, they will develop methods for determining parameters of the fund’s components, including:
- Determining financial assistance offerings, evaluating agricultural land valuation.
- Establishing research priorities and assessing research proposals and establishing the need for and scope of long-term health monitoring and land monitoring, and offer recommendations to alter the fund components.
- Developing processes and criteria to be used to determine funding awards.
- Creating a time frame for the implementation of the fund and for the consideration of applications for fund programs and issuance of payments, including, but not limited to, land appraisals and income tax statements.
- Recommending changes to the administration of the fund and corresponding programs to the Legislature.
- Ensuring that applicants for fund programs are able to participate in the process.
- Assessing where and how the fund would be best housed and operated within the State Government in the future. Take into consideration recommendations, including suggested legislation, of the advisory committee.
The advisory committee will be required to submit an annual report back to the Legislature’s committees that oversee agricultural matters and environmental matters, beginning March 1, 2023. The legislative committees are authorized to report out legislation based on the findings of the report.