Read the full article by Kevin Miller (Press Herald)
“A legislative committee voted unanimously Wednesday to require that manufacturers notify Maine environmental regulators about products containing PFAS, and to ban the sale of carpeting and fabric treatment containing the ‘forever chemicals.’
Democrats and Republicans on the Legislature’s Environmental and Natural Resources Committee voted 10-0 to endorse the bill roughly an hour before Gov. Janet Mills proposed devoting $40 million to test, manage and respond to PFAS contamination in Maine.
Taken together, the legislative and executive actions signal growing bipartisan support for addressing toxic chemicals that are being found in farm fields and drinking water wells around the state.
‘It’s just stunning to me just how much cost and pain we’ve inflicted on so many people around the state,’ said Sen. Rick Bennett, R-Oxford, referring to a state-sanctioned sludge reuse program linked to PFAS contamination. ‘I think we have a moral obligation to deal with this as state officials. And I think the DEP has a moral obligation, frankly, to do this as aggressively as possible.’
First developed in the 1940s, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances make up a class of thousands of chemicals that are widely used in nonstick cookware, water- or stain-resistant textiles, grease-resistant food packaging and firefighting foam. But PFAS linger in the body and the environment and these so-called ‘forever chemicals’ have been linked to cancer, kidney disease, low birthweight and a growing list of health concerns.
One of the bills that received committee endorsement Wednesday, L.D. 1503, would require manufacturers to notify the Department of Environmental Protection beginning in January 2023 if products sold in Maine contain ‘intentionally added PFAS.’ The bill would also prohibit the sale of PFAS-treated carpeting and rugs,, as well as fabric treatments containing the chemicals, starting in 2023 and give the DEP rulemaking authority to ban other products made with PFAS…”