Read the full article by John Gardella (The National Law Review)

“On April 15, 2022, the Maine state House and Senate both passed a bill (LD 1911) that would ban the use of biosolids that contain PFAS in land applications, unless it can be shown that the biosolids are PFAS free. While the PFAS biosolids ban addressed growing concerns in the state over land contamination due to PFAS through the use of biosolids as fertilizer, the legislation may have the unintended consequence of creating PFAS land and air pollution issues in Maine or in other states. The bill appears set to be signed into law by Maine’s governor, and companies responsible for managing the state’s waste (namely, waste management companies and incinerators) must pay close attention to the status of the bill and the unintended consequences that it may have.

PFAS Biosolids Ban

For several years, Maine’s citizens have been concerned over the common use of biosolids generated by paper mills and other industries on farmland as fertilizer. These biosolids may contain PFAS, which over time leach into nearby waterways and cause elevated levels of PFAS in drinking water sources. We previously wrote on the lawsuits stemming from the paper mill industry’s biosolids pollution issues.

In response to the concern over biosolids pollution, legislators in Maine introduced ‘An Act To Prohibit the Contamination of Clean Soils With So-Called Forever Chemicals‘ (LD 1911). In addition to banning the spread of PFAS-containing biosolids on land in the state of Maine, the bill also seeks to ban the sale of fertilizer or compost products derived from PFAS-containing biosolids.

The bill was passed by the Maine House and Senate on April 15, 2022 and now goes to the governor’s desk for signature into law.

Impacts of Bill

LD 1911 was not universally supported in Maine. Some farmers opposed the bill, arguing that banning fertilizers or compost that contain PFAS would limit the available options for both products and likely increase farming costs.”…