Manufacturers’ Proposals for Currently Unavoidable Uses (CUU) of PFAS Due to Maine DEP by March 1, 2024
By Miranda Henning, BCES, Managing Principal, Business Director, Health and Ecology
The state of Maine is one of a handful of states regulating PFAS in products.
In 2021, the Maine Legislature enacted An Act to Stop Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances Pollution.
On January 1, 2023, Maine began prohibiting the sale of carpets or rugs and fabric treatments that contain intentionally added PFAS. This law requires manufacturers of products with intentionally added PFAS to report the presence of the intentionally added PFAS in those products to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) beginning January 1, 2025.1
Effective January 1, 2030, any product containing intentionally added PFAS may not be sold in Maine unless the use of PFAS in the product is specifically designated as a “currently unavoidable use” by DEP. Products with Currently Unavoidable Uses (CUUs) will be exempt from the 2030 sales prohibition, but not the notification requirements. On the contrary, all products or product components sold, offered for sale, or distributed for sale in Maine that contain intentionally added PFAS must be reported to DEP.
After considering various amendments to the original law, the Maine Legislature enacted Public Law 2023, c. 138, An Act to Support Manufacturers Whose Products Contain Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (LD 217, 131st Legislature). This month, DEP launches a process to identify CUUs. A CUU is a use of PFAS that is essential for health, safety, or the functioning of society and for which alternatives are not reasonably available (38 M.R.S. §1614(1)(B)). Examples of CUUs might include components of semiconductors, medical devices, and personal protective equipment for firefighting.
DEP is currently soliciting CUU proposals. The deadline for submittals is March 1, 2024. Though future rounds of CUU determinations are possible, the imminent deadline offers stakeholders a chance to inform the process at an early stage. Please contact Miranda Henning for assistance in preparing CUU proposals.