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Maine has given hundreds of companies more time to report PFAS in products

Forever Chemicals Sludge
Robert F. Bukaty
In this Thursday Aug. 15, 2019 photo, hay dries after a recent cut at Stoneridge Farm in Arundel, Maine. The farm has been forced to shut down after sludge spread on the farm land was linked to high levels of PFAS in the milk.

State environmental regulators have granted extensions to hundreds of companies seeking more time to comply with Maine's new reporting requirements for PFAS in their products.

Manufacturers who sell products in Maine had until Jan. 1 to report intentionally-added PFAS, also known as "forever chemicals," in their products to the state's Department of Environmental Protection.

Nearly 1,900 manufacturers had received an approved extension from Maine DEP as of Dec. 21, according to a list from the department. Companies receiving more time to comply range from Apple and General Motors to L.L. Bean and Hannaford.

The Maine Chamber of Commerce has been encouraging companies to apply for an extension, noting that businesses will struggle to identify and report intentionally-added PFAS due to supply chain, intellectual property and other challenges.

And in a note to their members last week, the Chamber of Commerce said Maine DEP has received a large number of requests within the last month and couldn't respond to all of them by the Jan. 1 deadline.

In an email, Maine DEP spokesman Dave Madore said reporting requirements for each manufacturer with a pending extension request are on hold until the department can determine whether they're eligible for an extension. The agency should be able to respond to pending requests within 30 days, he added.

The reporting requirements are part of a sweeping law that state lawmakers passed back in 2021, which bans the sale of products with intentionally added PFAS in Maine by 2030.

The law also prohibits the sale of carpets, rugs, and fabric treatments with intentionally added PFAS beginning Jan. 1.