Maine has once again amended and clarified its statutory restrictions on the sale of numerous categories of PFAS-containing products.  The net effect of the legislation, enacted on April 16, 2024, is to 1) limit the scope and applicability of the statute’s PFAS-containing product registration requirements and delay their implementation, while 2) accelerating the effective date for a ban on sales of certain categories of PFAS-containing products and 3) identifying several categories of PFAS-containing products that are exempted from the sales ban.

As we’ve reported before, Maine has enacted one of the most comprehensive and restrictive PFAS laws in the country.  Before the April amendment, all product manufacturers selling products in Maine that contain intentionally added PFAS would have been required by January 1, 2025 to report PFAS content in all products they sold in Maine to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (MDEP); in addition, the statute banned sales of new carpets, rugs, and fabric treatments containing intentionally added PFAS effective January 1, 2023, with bans on other categories to be phased in on later dates, culminating in a full sales ban on all products with intentionally added PFAS by January 1, 2030.  Manufacturers were given the opportunity to petition MDEP to make an unavoidable use determination for any product.

The amended law, however, narrows the applicability of the notification requirement. Now, it will apply only to PFAS-containing products sold in the state (a) after the applicable categorical sales ban (see below) takes effect, and (b) for which MDEP has made a currently unavoidable use determination.  Moreover, only information on PFAS content that is “known to or ascertainable by” the manufacturer must be reported under the amended statute, mirroring the federal definition of “known to or ascertainable by” under EPA’s Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) regulations. 

The amended statute also sets new dates for categorical sales bans for the following product categories containing intentionally added PFAS and for which no currently unavoidable use determination has been made (note that under the amended law, such a determination is effective for five years, after which MDEP could extend that period via rulemaking if the use remains unavoidable): 

January 1, 2026 for cleaning products, cookware, cosmetics, dental floss, juvenile products, menstruation products, certain textile articles (not including outdoor apparel for severe wet conditions or textile used as upholstery in watercraft, aircraft, or motor vehicles), ski wax, and upholstered furniture.  

January 1, 2029 for artificial turf and outdoor apparel for severe wet conditions (however, the latter may continue to be sold in Maine if accompanied by a disclosure that the product contains PFAS).

A complete sales ban on all other categories of PFAS-containing products (with some key exclusions) would now take effect on January 1, 2032, subject to a currently unavoidable use determination. A sales ban on PFAS-containing HVAC and refrigeration equipment, refrigerants, foams, and aerosol propellants would go into effect on January 1, 2040. 

The following categories are completely excluded from the scope of the sales ban and the reporting requirements:  used products and their components; certain firefighting or fire-suppressing foams; FDA-regulated medical devices and drugs; veterinary products; products used for public health, environmental, or water quality testing; motor vehicles, watercraft, and aerospace and aviation equipment; and semiconductors and related equipment and materials for their manufacture. 

It is expected that MDEP will issue revised proposed rules for implementation later this summer.