Read the full article by Kenneth F. Gray, Emily J. Dupraz, William E. Taylor & Lisa A. Gilbreath (The National Law Review)

“Pierce Atwood LLP offers this summary of Maine Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) standards as a convenience in evaluating PFAS and tracking Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) regulatory and Maine legislative developments. We update this Maine PFAS Tracker when there are important new actions (if you found this on the Pierce Atwood LLP website, then you are seeing the most recent version). Levels are provided below in parts per million (ppm), parts per billion (ppb), or parts per trillion (ppt), depending on the matrix typically involved. Please click here if you prefer to view or print this information as a PDF.

WHAT’S NEW IN THIS EDITION: The Maine Board of Environmental Protection (BEP) adopted new regulations requiring manufacturers and distributors to report product information about certain children’s products offered for sale within the State of Maine.  See Section VI below for details.

I.  Maine Drinking Water Program Guidance, Department of Health and Human Services 

PFOA & PFOS Combined70 ppt

This standard is taken from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Drinking Water Health Advisory of 2016.  ME CDC, Dec. 2016 provided the same standard.

II.  Maine DEP Chapter 418, Beneficial Use of Solid Wastes, Appendix A – screening concentration – (secondary materials)


These concentrations are also being applied as screening levels to residuals regulated under DEP Chapter 419, Agronomic Utilization of Residuals. If screening levels are exceeded, a ‘closer look’ by the Department will occur. See Memorandum from David Burns, DEP to licensed facilities that land apply, compost, or process sludge in Maine, RE: Requirement to analyze for PFAS compounds, March 22, 2019 (link below).

III.  Maine DEP Soil Remedial Action Guidelines (ppm) effective October 19, 2018

Leaching to Groundwater7.10.0210.0095
Park User4,9004.94.9
Recreator (Sediment)5,7005.75.7
Construction Worker51,0005.15.1

IV.  Maine DEP Water Remedial Action Guidelines (ppb) effective October 19, 2018



These guidelines state, ‘For PFOA and PFOS, use EPA health advisory where groundwater is used or may be used for human consumption.’

In the January 2020 PFAS Task Force Report, DEP stated that it ‘recommends treatment or replacement of drinking water supplies when the sum of all measured PFAS exceeds 400 ppt.’

V.  Maine DEP Fish Tissue Remedial Action Guidelines (ppm) effective October 19, 2018


VI.  Maine DEP Chemicals of High Concern Listing and Reporting Requirements 

PFOS and its salts were listed in July 2015 as ‘Chemicals of Concern,’ under the Toxic Chemicals in Children’s Products Law, 38 M.R.S. §1691, et seq.  At the same time, PFOS and its salts were also listed as ‘Chemicals of High Concern.’ The listing qualifies a chemical for further regulation under this law. See the entry below, noting that DEP is proposing regulation of PFOS as a ‘High Priority’ chemical. 

On July 2, 2020, the Maine Board of Environmental Protection (BEP) adopted regulations in Chapter 890 designating PFOS and its salts as priority chemicals.  The regulations adopted further require that manufacturers or distributors of children’s products for sale within the state of Maine that contain PFOS or its salts report to the DEP certain product information, including the amount of PFOS or its salts in each unit and the function of the chemical in the product.

VII. Governor Mills’ Executive Order No. 5 FY 19/20 – An Order to Study the Threats of PFAS Contamination to Public Health and the Environment

On March 6, 2019, Governor Mills issued ‘An Order to Study the Threats of PFAS Contamination to Public Health and the Environment.‘ Citing the need for a coordinated response and the necessity of studying PFAS distribution, assessing potential impacts, and recommending strategies to mitigate the impacts, Governor Mills established a task force comprised of the commissioners of four state agencies, as well as a public health physician and representatives selected by the commissioners of the Maine DEP and Maine DHHS from several different specified groups or entities. The Task Force issued its final report in January 2020, Managing PFAS in Maine, with a significant number of recommendations, including…”