- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - The Maine Department of Health and Human Services says it will no longer accept a grant established to fund well water tests for arsenic.

WCSH-TV reports (https://on.wcsh6.com/1OzxAUP ) the grant provided $150,000 a year to the state to provide free testing for arsenic in home water wells.

Elevated levels of arsenic can damage the digestive tract and cause heart problems.

Gov. Paul LePage’s administration is defending the decision, saying the program was costly and inefficient.

Health department spokesman David Sorensen says 210 test kits were distributed last year but only 42 were returned.

Private labs charge anywhere from $30 to $90 for arsenic tests.

Officials say the state will continue to perform arsenic testing for $20 to $30 and there are still programs to help those who can’t afford it.

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Information from: WCSH-TV, https://www.wcsh6.com


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