Maine DACF and University of Maine Cooperative Extension launch the PFAS Navigator program

Maine DACF and University of Maine Cooperative Extension launch the PFAS Navigator program

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DACF News Release

For Immediate Release
July 1, 2024


AUGUSTA, ME – The Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF) and University of Maine Cooperative Extension announced the launch of the “PFAS Navigators” program, designed to offer dedicated one-on-one assistance to farmers affected by PFAS contamination. Starting July 1, 2024, this confidential, no-cost program aims to provide comprehensive support, ensuring farmers receive the necessary resources and guidance to manage the impacts of PFAS on their farms and families. 

Under the leadership of Program Director Lucy Wess, the PFAS Response Coordinator and Navigators will work closely with farmers to identify their unique goals, interests, and needs. Through personalized consultations, Navigators will connect farmers with critical technical, financial, and social assistance programs, serving as a vital touchpoint for any questions and providing hands-on help with navigating forms and applications for PFAS-related assistance. 

“The PFAS Navigators program embodies Maine’s commitment to support farmers impacted by PFAS, providing personalized, hands-on support to those affected,” said DACF Commissioner Amanda Beal. “By offering farmers tailored assistance and access to vital resources, we aim to safeguard the sustainability of their livelihoods and the well-being of their families.”  

The PFAS Response Navigator program is funded by DACF’s PFAS Fund and managed by University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s Maine Agricultural Mediation Program (MAMP). To connect with a Navigator or learn more about the services offered, please get in touch with Shiela Leonard at or (207) 955-1977 or visit the Navigator Program website

The Navigator program represents the latest initiative from the PFAS Fund, complementing the newly developed PFAS Response Kit. This comprehensive document is a valuable resource for Maine farmers, covering initial investigations, interpreting test results, managing immediate and long-term effects, and accessing legal, mental, and physical health services. The PFAS Response Kit is available on the PFAS Assistance for Maine Farmers webpage, and physical copies will be mailed to all impacted farms engaged with DACF’s PFAS Response Program. 

“The PFAS Navigator Program and Response Kit are direct outgrowths of concerns we heard throughout the PFAS Fund’s planning phase,” said PFAS Fund Director Beth Valentine. “Producers told us that the stress of discovering PFAS was amplified by the need to search for information and figure everything out independently. With these two resources, impacted producers have a friendly, knowledgeable person and a reference guide to help ease the way forward.” 

The PFAS Fund is currently accepting applications for financial assistance and plans to launch additional programs by the end of 2024. These will include a competitive research grant program, coverage for PFAS blood serum testing costs not covered by insurance, and access to mental health services for eligible individuals. 

Governor Mills’ establishment of the PFAS Task Force in 2019 marked Maine’s proactive approach to addressing PFAS contamination. With strong bipartisan support, Maine has since implemented a pioneering, cross-agency response effort to identify the extent of PFAS contamination and provide substantial support to impacted communities. DACF has been providing tailored recommendations to producers, including direct guidance and resources for farmers to navigate the uncertainties of PFAS contamination, with the PFAS Fund being the latest initiative to offer comprehensive assistance.


Media contact: Jim Britt, (207) 480-0558