A federal loophole has left Maine in the dark on manufacturers’ PFAS waste

By Erin Rhoda | Maine Radio | June 17, 2022

Read the full article by Erin Rhoda (Maine Radio)

"The public was supposed to learn for the first time last year which Maine manufacturers are using PFAS and discharging the chemicals as waste, but a federal loophole has apparently allowed the facilities to evade reporting the information, fomenting anger about a federal inability to provide basic information related to a public health threat.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says it will reverse the reporting loophole, which the Trump administration applied without public comment. But it’s not yet known when it will do so, leaving Maine residents in the dark about whether and where the toxic chemicals are still being processed as Maine prepares to spend tens of millions of dollars to address contamination.

The information from the federal government was expected to provide the first definitive accounting of original, major sources of PFAS-laden waste in Maine. But a new Maine law will allow the state to gather more information about PFAS discharges on its own, and at least one paper mill is phasing out its use of PFAS, meaning that when the federal government eventually publishes details about manufacturers’ PFAS waste it could be too little too late."