Skip to main content

In Maine: PFAS Policies Remain Strong

Policies to protect Mainers from toxic PFAS chemicals remain strong

Maine, a leading state in efforts to address the “forever chemical” crisis, recently adopted revisions to its groundbreaking law that banned PFAS chemicals in consumer products by 2030. Maine originally adopted the law in 2021 in response to Mainers demanding solutions to the PFAS crisis and advocacy by Defend Our Health, Maine Conservation Voters, Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, and legislative champions. The new revisions refine the law to address resource constraints while maintaining its comprehensive mandate and original intent.

What was Maine’s original PFAS law?

In 2021, Maine was in the midst of a major PFAS contamination crisis and the legislature adopted a new approach to eliminating these “forever chemicals.” The law phased out all uses of PFAS in products by 2030 unless the state determined that the use of PFAS is “currently unavoidable” which is defined as when there is no safer alternative to PFAS in the product AND the product itself is necessary for the health, safety or functioning of society. It also required all manufacturers of consumer products to disclose their use of PFAS to the state by 2025. 

Last year, Minnesota adopted Amara’s Law which not only mirrored Maine’s disclosure requirements and broad PFAS use restrictions, but also banned PFAS from specific products by 2025, including menstrual products, cookware, and dental floss. 

Why did Maine make changes?

As Maine’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) began to consider implementation, it realized that it would need additional resources to properly implement the law, especially the disclosure provisions. Given the states’ size and budgetary constraints, representatives from the legislature, administration, NGO community, and industry came together to determine how best to implement the law. On April 16th, they agreed to modify the original PFAS law in a way that would maintain the original protective intent of the law while also allowing the state to properly implement it with its limited resources.  

What changed?

On April 16, Maine’s new law went into effect, modifying the original law in the following ways. It:  

  • Bans PFAS in key product categories including cookware, textiles, children’s products, cosmetics, menstrual products and several other products beginning in 2026 instead of 2030.
  • Bans PFAS from artificial turf, outdoor apparel for extreme weather conditions (unless it’s clearly labeled as containing PFAS), and fluorinated containers by 2029. 
  • Changes the phase-out date for most other products, including certain refrigerants, from 2030 to 2032. It also extends the phase-out date from 2030 to 2040 for all refrigerants, foams, and aerosol propellants. All products covered by this ban can seek a Currently Unavoidable Use exemption. 
  • Limits the disclosure requirement to manufacturers who seek a Currently Unavoidable Use exemption from the ban on PFAS.
  • Exempts certain product categories from restrictions including medical and veterinary products  and semiconductors. Motor vehicles, watercraft, and products regulated by certain federal agencies (Federal Aviation Administration, Department of Transportation, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Department of Defense, and Department of Homeland Security) are also exempt except for textiles and refrigerants in those products which will have to phase PFAS out of those components by 2026.  
  • Requires the Department of the Environment to make recommendations to the legislature for product stewardship programs for the disposal of products that contain PFAS.

It is important to note that while exemptions were given to certain industries, the state did not absolve the use of PFAS in these products. Exemptions were given mostly due to the complexity of the products and the state’s inability to manage the numerous requests for exemptions in highly complex products. 

Why isn’t Minnesota making similar adjustments? 

Minnesota is in a different financial situation and the legislature dedicated sufficient resources to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to be able to successfully implement their law. 

Solving the PFAS crisis

States across the nation are working to address the PFAS crisis. They will continue to seek ways to phase out the use of PFAS in favor of safer solutions, helping prevent downstream contamination. States like Maine, Minnesota, Washington and many others are finding and implementing solutions that help stop creating harm. The urgency of the problem means that states are looking to each other to collaborate on solutions and elements like requiring disclosure so they can get a better understanding of the problem. Approaches will continue to evolve and the marketplace will respond to these powerful market signals. 

It is time for the makers and users of PFAS to see the writing on the wall. States will continue to do what they can to eliminate PFAS from products and the waste stream. The wise manufacturers will find safer alternatives now rather than continue to use chemicals that harm human health and the environment. 

Search Insights



Priority Area