Two new rules recently adopted by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (“Maine DEP” or “the Department”) added formaldehyde and phthalates to the State’s list of Priority Chemicals. As of July 26, 2015, the Department now has the legal authority to regulate formaldehyde and four phthalates when they are intentionally added to “Children’s Products.” (Intentionally added chemicals trigger reporting requirements when they can be reliably measured (defined as “Practical Quantification Limit”); chemicals naturally occurring in products must be reported if they exceed 100 parts per million.) The new rules impose reporting requirements (and a one-time reporting fee) on manufacturers and distributors that must be submitted to the Department by December 18, 2015. The Department has been given the authority to bring enforcement actions against those failing to provide the required information on a timely basis.
Earlier this month, Maine DEP (Department) announced it would be proposing—or more accurately, re-proposing—the addition of two chemical to its list of “Priority” chemicals. The Department announced that it would be drafting rules to include formaldehyde and phthalates to its list of “Priority” chemicals.
By way of background, the current law creates three categories of chemicals: “Concern”, “High Concern”, and “Priority”. Only “Priority” chemicals intentionally used within “Children’s Products” at amounts greater than de minimus levels trigger reporting requirements.