I understand the deep connection between our families’ health and the health of Maine’s environment.  We all want clean water, clean air, protection against toxic products, and access to safe, nutritious local food.  It’s not rocket science: our personal health depends on the health of the natural world, and Maine’s abundant natural resources should help us live healthy, productive lives.

But the health of Maine families is increasingly challenged by our environment.  Air pollution from the rest of the country heads our way, bringing higher ozone levels that can cause asthma and cancer.  Our warming climate has brought Lyme and other tick-based diseases. Many rural families use well water that may be contaminated by arsenic, and our municipal drinking and waste water systems are aging.  Flame retardants and other toxins in consumer products affect our children’s growth and well-being. Lead paint stunts our children’s cognitive growth. Many of these challenges have a disproportionate impact on the most vulnerable among us, the young, sick, old and poor.

Maine used to be a national leader in environmental health, and the next governor must help the state regain its leadership role.  That includes:

  • Improving our air quality by reducing carbon pollution and holding up-wind states accountable under the Clean Air Act.

  • Helping more rural families screen for and control arsenic in wells.

  • Improving and protecting our cities’ drinking water.  

  • Expanding lead screening to cover all Maine schools and all Maine children.  

  • Moving consumer products from toxic and disposable to clean and durable.  

  • Working with federal and other partners to address Lyme and other diseases that result from our changing world.