PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Gov. Paul LePage is poised to sign 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, 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 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.
LePage is scheduled to sign the bill at 3 p.m. Wednesday.