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Maine Announces Enforcement Discretion on Phthalates in Food Packaging Ban

Stacks of binders of regulations

The governor of Maine, Janet Mills, announced that the state’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will exercise enforcement discretion regarding the law banning phthalates in food packaging. L.D. 1433 (H.P. 1043), which was signed into law on June 13, 2019, amended the state’s toxic chemicals in packaging law to prohibit the intentional use of phthalates in food packaging. (For more information on that law, see the article, Maine Bans Phthalates in Food Packaging; Addresses PFAS in Food Packaging.)

The governor's announcement noted that “the limited availability of alternatives caused by supply chain disruptions due to the ongoing global pandemic has the potential to cause significant compliance issues.” The enforcement discretion will take place during the rulemaking process and will be reevaluated once the rule is promulgated or within six months of the prohibition’s effective date (January 1, 2022), whichever occurs sooner.