New York fails to protect farmland from PFAS in sewage sludge, report finds


Highlighting a practice that compromises farmland nationwide, a new report finds that sewage sludge spread as fertilizer on New York state fields contains toxic chemicals that sicken farmers, contaminate crops, and threaten consumer health.

The report, published Thursday by the Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter, suggests that the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has failed to prevent dangerous per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) from entering the environment through the practice, and urges the state to put a stop to the contamination.

“What we are talking about here is the active permitting… of PFAS-contaminated sewer sludge being spread over farmland to create food that we then consume,” New York state assembly member Anna Kelles said in a press briefing. “It’s literally creating a mechanism to get PFAS to bioaccumulate in human tissue.”

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