In recent years, concerns about per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) have grown significantly, prompting states across the US to implement stringent regulations aimed at curbing their use and mitigating environmental and public health risks. Two states at the forefront of this effort are Maine and Minnesota, each enacting comprehensive legislations to address PFAS contamination from various angles.  

Maine’s Comprehensive Approach 

Maine has emerged as a trailblazer in PFAS regulation with the adoption of “An Act To Stop Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances Pollution” aimed at reporting and removing PFAS from products. The legislation, LD 1503, mandates the reporting and removal of most PFAS in products within the decade since its enaction in 2021, encompassing all product categories. 

  • All-Encompassing Regulation: 

Maine’s law goes beyond targeted bans on specific products and extends to all PFAS-containing goods. This comprehensive approach sets a new standard for PFAS regulation in the US. 

  • Phase-Out Schedule:  

The legislation outlines a phased approach to eliminating PFAS from various products, starting with carpets, rugs, and fabric treatments in 2023 and expanding to all nonessential uses by 2030. 

  • Data Collection and Reporting:  

Producers are required to report all PFAS-containing goods sold in the state to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), facilitating transparency and accountability. The department has postponed the reporting requirement to January 1st, 2025 due to implementation and compliance challenges.  

  • Stakeholder Engagement:  

The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is actively engaging stakeholders in the rulemaking process, soliciting feedback by March 1st, 2024 on Currently Unavoidable Uses (CUU) of PFAS, designated to exclude certain PFAS-containing goods from the phase-out. While still in consultation stage, the proposal suggests that stakeholders will need to submit a CUU request without Confidential Business Information (CBI) and state how it is ‘alternative’, ‘reasonably available’ and ‘essential for health, safety or the functioning of society’.  

Minnesota’s Regulatory Efforts 

Minnesota has a parallel scheme to address PFAS contamination through legislation and rulemaking:  

  • Proposed Rules Implementation:  

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) plans to propose three rules between 2024 and 2026 to implement the state’s broad PFAS disclosure and phase-out law. These rules will establish reporting requirements, fees, and criteria for identifying critical PFAS applications exempt from the prohibition. 

  • Stakeholder Outreach:  

The MPCA is conducting extensive stakeholder outreach too. Responses to a request for comment (RFC) on criteria regulators should consider when establishing CUUs within the state’s own parallel PFAS restriction scheme are due on March 1st, 2024 

  • Data Collection and Reporting:  

Producers are required to report all PFAS-containing goods sold in the state to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) starting January 1st, 2026.   

Upcoming Deadlines:  

  • January 1, 2025: Beginning this date, it will be illegal to sell or distribute some products with intentionally added PFAS within Minnesota. 
  • January 1, 2025-January 1, 2032: The MPCA may conduct rulemaking to prohibit intentionally added PFAS in additional product categories. We will also evaluate “currently unavoidable uses,” which will be exempted from the 2032 ban. 
  • January 1, 2026: Product manufacturers must provide the MPCA with a list of products with intentionally added PFAS. It will be illegal to sell or distribute products containing intentionally added PFAS that have not reported. 
  • January 1, 2032: Minnesota’s full ban on intentionally added PFAS in products goes into effect. 

Looking Ahead 

Both states are actively engaging stakeholders and adopting proactive measures to address PFAS contamination comprehensively. By prioritizing reporting, fee structures, and deadlines for essential and non-essential PFAS use, Maine and Minnesota are setting precedents for effective PFAS management and environmental stewardship.  

In parallel, the US EPA under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), has passed a rule requiring companies to make a one-time mandatory reporting of all PFAS manufactured or imported since 2011. More information on the requirement can be found here: EPA Reporting Rule Finalized by EPA. 

For support or more information on PFAS, please reach out to H2 compliance.   

Published: February 23, 2024