In July 2021, Public Law c. 477, An Act To Stop Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances Pollution (LD 1503, 130th Legislature) was enacted by the Maine Legislature. This new law requires manufacturers of products with intentionally added PFAS to report the intentionally added presence of PFAS in those products to the Department beginning January 1, 2023. The law also prohibits the sale of carpets or rugs, as well as the sale of fabric treatments, that contain intentionally added PFAS beginning on January 1, 2023. Effective January 1, 2030, any product containing intentionally added PFAS may not be sold in Maine unless the use of PFAS in the product is specifically designated as a currently unavoidable use by the Department.
The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) of the State of Maine has now proposed a new rule providing additional guidance on the notification requirements and sales prohibitions for products and product components containing intentionally added PFAS pursuant to 38 M.R.S. 1614. The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) of the State of Maine is responsible for the agency handling the proposed rule, and the WTO Members and their stakeholders are requested to submit comments to the USA TBT Enquiry Point by or before May 19, 2023.
This draft rule, entitled "Products Containing Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances," outlines notification requirements and sales prohibitions for new products and product components containing intentionally added PFAS in the state of Maine. PFAS are a group of man-made chemicals that have been used in various industries, including textiles, food packaging, and firefighting foam. These chemicals are of concern because they are persistent in the environment and can accumulate in human bodies over time, potentially causing health problems.
The draft rule requires manufacturers of products containing intentionally added PFAS to submit a notification to the Department of Environmental Protection beginning January 1, 2023. The notification must include a brief description of the product, the purpose for which PFAS are used in the product, the amount of each PFAS present in the product or any product component, and the name and address of the reporting manufacturer. The notification must be submitted in a form approved by the Department, and electronic submission of complete information to the Department's online notification system satisfies this requirement. Manufacturers may request a waiver of the notification requirement if the Department determines that substantially equivalent information is publicly available.
The draft rule also prohibits the sale, offer for sale, or distribution for sale of new products and product components in the state of Maine that contain intentionally added PFAS, with some exceptions. The prohibition does not apply to certain types of products, including medical devices, semiconductors, and photographic film. The prohibition also does not apply to products or product components for which a waiver of the notification requirement has been granted. The Department may request information from manufacturers to determine compliance with the sales prohibitions, and manufacturers must provide the requested information within 60 days of receiving the Department's request. Failure to comply with the notification requirements or sales prohibitions may result in enforcement actions, including civil penalties.