Gov. Paul LePage has signed into law a bill calling on the federal government to recognize disabilities suffered by Maine soldiers who were exposed to Agent Orange at a military base in Canada.
The bill signed Wednesday, sponsored by Democratic Sen. John Tuttle, focuses on potential exposure by Maine Army National Guard members at Canadian Forces Base Gagetown in New Brunswick. Fields at the base were sprayed sometime in the 1960s with chemical herbicides, including a small amount of Agent Orange, a Vietnam War-era chemical defoliant linked to cancer and birth defects.
U.S. Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King of Maine have also proposed legislation calling on the federal government to investigate whether some veterans’ health problems are linked to herbicide.