On July 15, 2021, LD 1503 became law in the US state of Maine. The new law requires manufacturers to notify the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) about products with intentionally added PFAS, and prohibits the sale of carpeting and fabric treatments containing PFAS beginning January 2023. The law also gives the DEP rulemaking authority to ban other products made with PFAS.
Maine’s Public Law, Chapter 447 (LD 1503, 2021) “An Act to Stop Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances Pollution” includes a requirement, starting in 2023, that manufacturers of a product containing intentionally added chemicals known as perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, submit a written notification to the DEP that includes the purpose and the amount of the PFAS. The law also prohibits the sale of residential carpets or rugs and fabric treatments that contain intentionally added PFAS and authorizes the state to identify other products from which PFAS may be banned in the future. Effective in 2030, products containing intentionally added PFAS cannot be sold unless the state specifically concludes that the use of PFAS in the product is currently unavoidable.
According to the definitions in the Act:
- “Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances” or “PFAS” means substances that include any member of the class of fluorinated organic chemicals containing at least one fully fluorinated carbon atom.
- “Carpet or rug” means a fabric marketed or intended for use as a floor covering.
- “Fabric treatment” means a substance applied to fabric to give the fabric one or more characteristics, including but not limited to stain resistance or water resistance.
- “Intentionally added PFAS” means PFAS added to a product or one of its product components to provide a specific characteristic, appearance or quality or to perform a specific function. “Intentionally added PFAS” also includes any degradation by-products of PFAS.
- “Currently unavoidable use” means a use of PFAS that the department has determined by rule to be essential for health, safety or the functioning of society and for which alternatives are not reasonably available.
Beginning January 1, 2023, a manufacturer of a product for sale in the State of Maine that contains intentionally added PFAS shall submit to the department a written notification that includes:
- A brief description of the product;
- The purpose for which PFAS are used in the product, including use in any product components;
- The amount of each of the PFAS, identified by its chemical abstracts service registry number, in the product, reported as an exact quantity determined using commercially available analytical methods or as falling within a range approved for reporting purposes by the department;
- The name and address of the manufacturer, and the name, address and phone number of a contact person for the manufacturer; and
- Any additional information established by the department as necessary to implement the requirements
PFAS substances are usually used in firefighting foam and consumer products such as non-stick cookware, water or stain-resistant textiles and grease-resistant food packaging. Maine’s LD 1503 includes a product ban on PFAS in carpets and fabric treatments that is similar to legislation introduced in California, Massachusetts, New York, Maryland, Oregon and Vermont.
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