Maine Narrows Reporting Requirements, Amends Phase-Out Timeline for Products Containing PFAS

On April 16, 2024, Maine enacted significant new amendments to the state statute restricting the sale of products containing intentionally added perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Maine’s PFAS law remains one of the most restrictive nationwide, and the new amendment accelerates a sales ban for certain product categories. However, Maine also delayed and significantly narrowed reporting requirements for PFAS product manufacturers, delayed a general ban on the sale of products containing PFAS from 2030 to 2032, and identified categories of products exempted from that ban.

Previously, the law would have required product manufacturers to report on the PFAS content of all products sold in Maine by January 1, 2025, with a ban on new carpets, rugs, and fabric treatments containing intentionally added PFAS and a ban on the sale of all products containing intentionally added PFAS by 2030.

Narrowed and Delayed Reporting Requirement

The new reporting requirement applies only to products sold in Maine after an applicable sales ban takes effect, and for which the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has made an unavoidable use determination. This will likely significantly reduce the compliance obligations and related costs that many manufacturers across industry sectors would have faced to meet the previous January 1, 2025 compliance date. Under the amended statute, most reporting obligations will not apply (if at all) until 2032.

The information that manufacturers subject to the reporting requirement will have to submit to DEP remains largely unchanged from the original statute, and includes a description of the product, an estimate of the units sold, the purpose of the PFAS in the product, and the amount of each PFAS in the product. PFAS content may be reported as an exact quantity, as the amount of total fluorine, or as falling in a range approved by DEP. The amended statute allows the manufacturer to report the total weight of the product if a manufacturer is unable to provide information regarding the amount of each PFAS in the product. Additionally, the amended statute only requires reporting information “known to or ascertainable by” the manufacturers, a standard borrowed from the federal Toxic Substances Control Act.

We expect that DEP will eventually promulgate rules to further clarify the reporting requirement, including the process by which it will collect the required information.

New Compliance Dates and Product Categories

Starting January 1, 2026, the following products containing intentionally added PFAS will not be permissible for sale in Maine:

  • Cleaning products
  • Cookware
  • Cosmetics
  • Dental floss
  • Juvenile products (does not include electronic products marketed for use by children under 12 years of age, including computers and handheld devices)
  • Menstruation products
  • Textile articles (does not include outdoor apparel for severe wet conditions or textile articles included as part of a watercraft, aircraft, or motor vehicle)
  • Ski wax
  • Upholstered furniture

Starting January 1, 2029, the following products containing intentionally added PFAS will not be permissible for sale in Maine:

  • Artificial turf
  • Outdoor apparel for severe wet conditions, unless accompanied by a disclosure stating the product contains PFAS

Starting January 1, 2032, all other products containing intentionally added PFAS will not be permissible for sale in Maine unless DEP determines the use of the PFAS to be currently unavoidable. This ban excludes HVAC and refrigeration equipment as well as refrigerants, foams, and aerosol propellants – those products will be restricted starting January 1, 2040.

The new law does not apply to certain listed product categories, including:

  • Used products and their components
  • Certain firefighting or fire-suppressing foams
  • Medical devices, drugs, and biologics regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
  • Veterinary products
  • Motor vehicles and aerospace and aviation equipment
  • Semiconductors and related equipment and materials for their manufacture

Currently Unavoidable Uses

As in previous versions of the law, the amended law allows DEP to identify products and product categories in which the use of PFAS is a “currently unavoidable use” to exempt products from a sales ban. Under the amended law, such determinations are active for five years, and DEP could undertake subsequent rulemaking to extend that period if a particular PFAS use remains currently unavoidable.

Beveridge & Diamond’s Chemicals Regulation practice group and Chemicals industry group provide strategic, business-focused advice to the global chemicals industry. We work with large and small chemical and products companies whose products and activities are subject to EPA’s broad chemical regulatory authority under TSCA and state chemical restrictions. Our Consumer Products and Product Stewardship, Global Supply Chains practices work with U.S. and multinational companies that make, distribute, transport, or sell consumer products in a hyper-competitive and evolving consumer goods market. We help identify, understand, and comply with complex regulatory requirements throughout the product lifecycle. For more information, please contact the authors.