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2021/2022 Changes to Maine Pesticide Laws

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Board of Pesticides Control

2021/2022 Changes to Maine Pesticide Laws 

The Board of Pesticides Control (BPC) wants you to be in the know. A number of pesticide bills heard during the last session of the Maine Legislature will soon become laws and may affect you. This is the second of two emails from the BPC. This email will provide details about three resolves.   

The BPC will continue to provide you with updated legislation and rulemaking information through emails, direct mailings, and our website. Many of these topics will be discussed at upcoming public meetings. You are encouraged to follow and attend meetings of the board. The next board meeting is August 27, 2021 at 9:00 AM. Additional meeting details will soon be posted on the BPC website. If you need additional information, please contact the BPC Office at (207)287-2731 and email at 


Opportunities to Share Your Thoughts  

The Future of Neonicotinoid Insecticides in Maine  

You may have heard on the local news or a social media site that Maine has restricted the use of neonicotinoid insecticides, but what did the legislature and governor actually agree to regarding these systemic insecticides? 

LD 155 never included an outright ban on this class of insecticides. What was signed is called a legislative resolve. It is not law per se, but it directs the BPC to propose rules that will prohibit certain uses of insecticide products that contain dinotefuran, clothianidin, imidacloprid, or thiamethoxam. More specifically, the resolve aims to prohibit applications to outdoor residential landscapes such as lawn, turf, or ornamental vegetation. 

The resolve directs the BPC to provide an exemption for licensed applicators using neonicotinoid insecticides to manage emerging invasive insect pests, including but not limited to the Asian long-horned beetle, emerald ash borer and hemlock wooly adelgid. This exemption is intended to safeguard the public health, safety, and welfare of the State and to protect the natural resources of the State. A stakeholder information gathering meeting about this bill will be held during the next board meeting on August 27, 2021. 

Regulating PFAS in Pesticides Used and Sold in Maine 

You may have seen that “forever chemicals” were found in some pesticides applied for mosquito control in Massachusetts last year. These chemicals are known as Perfluoroalkyl or Polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and are of concern because of their health hazards and stable chemistry. There is limited evidence that PFAS leach into some pesticides from high-density polyethylene (HDPE) containers treated with fluorine gas added to stabilize the containers. EPA is currently researching this issue and will continue to provide updated information on this website 

This resolve directs the BPC to 1) amend its rules relating to registered pesticides, requiring manufacturers and distributors to provide affidavits stating whether the registered pesticide has ever been stored, distributed or packaged in a fluorinated HDPE container and to require manufacturers to provide an affidavit stating whether PFAS substances are in the formulation of the registered pesticide, and 2) conduct a study to determine if fluorinated adjuvants are sold or used in Maine. The The BPC is required to submit a report of findings to the legislature by January 1, 2022. A stakeholder information gathering meeting on this bill will be held at the August 27, 2021 meeting of the board. 

Submission of Pesticide Sales and Use Records to the BPC 

This resolve directs the BPC to research methods for collecting pesticide sales and use records for the purpose of providing information to the public. The resolve further directs the BPC to research collecting pesticide use information from schools, private, and commercial applicators. The BPC is also directed to obtain sales information, so general and restricted use pesticide dealers will likely be affected. A stakeholder information meeting on this bill will be held during the next BPC meeting on August 27, 2021. The BPC must submit a report of findings to the legislature by January 1, 2022. 

What Can You Do? 

As pesticide products come under continued scrutiny and review, it is important that you practice the highest level of integrated pest management you can implement successfully in your business. We must all show that Maine Applicators do all they can to minimize their reliance on pesticides.  

The Board of Pesticides Control will keep you updated as these rules are proposed. If you are interested in sharing your thoughts on any of these topics with the Board of Pesticides Control, you might consider attending the August 27 stakeholder information gathering meetings where these bills will be discussed. As always, it is very important for you to provide comments. The Board needs to hear a broad spectrum of views to develop sound policies. 

As it becomes available, more information on stakeholder information gathering meetings and proposed rulemaking will be posted on the BPC website. 

Thanks, and stay safe, 

Board of Pesticides Control