Over the last several years, Maine has taken a leadership role in addressing greenhouse gas emissions through the installation of renewable electricity and in adopting air-source heat pumps to displace carbon-intensive heating fuels. The state is taking significant steps to achieve its climate goals and we must work on accelerating progress on its building-sector emissions and the development of large-scale renewable projects to meet its long-term climate commitments.

However, all of this is predicated on technologies from heat pumps and advanced refrigeration. The Maine State Chamber is concerned that, unchanged, the PFAS law the Legislature passed in 2021 will hinder Maine’s climate action efforts and stand in the way of its ability to meet important goals, including installing 275,000 high-efficiency heat pumps by 2027 – a target that was raised after surpassing the initial goal two years ahead of schedule.

Heat pumps are critical to achieving Maine’s climate goals. They are efficient, run on electricity and will reduce Mainers’ dependence on heating oil and propane. Yet, because Maine’s current law defines PFAS so broadly, existing heat pump technology will be banned in Maine unless the law is revised.

According to Maine’s current broad PFAS law, the HFOs in heat pumps – molecules made up of hydrogen, fluorine and carbon with a double bond – are PFAS. Yet, HFOs have been studied and approved for use by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. They are an energy-efficient technology used in refrigeration. Because they are integral to heat pumps and are used in many more technologies that reduce carbon emissions – building and roofing insulation, ultra-low emission pharmaceutical meter-dose inhalers and more – they are integral to Maine’s climate goals.

Beyond HFOs, there are additional examples of PFAS in products that, if banned, will have a harmful impact on consumers, businesses and Maine’s environment and economy. PFAS are used in heart stents and other life-saving medical technologies. They are used in the defense industry, the veterinary life sciences sector (which has a significant and burgeoning hub in Maine) and more. They are critical to our clean energy transition, as they are important for solar panels, wind turbines and battery/energy storage. Many uses are already regulated and supported by federal government agencies.

Furthermore, in addition to losing access to important products and undermining Maine‘s ability to achieve its climate goals, Maine’s PFAS law will make Maine an outlier, causing great concern for Maine’s competitiveness, our economy and jobs.


Maine’s business community is committed to protecting our state’s environment and natural resources, Mainers’ health and safety, our economy and jobs and our ability to compete so our people and employers can succeed. As we work to address the issue of PFAS, we need to recognize that not all PFAS are the same, and we must be certain that the approach we take gets it right on PFAS and protects our economy, environment, people and our state’s future.

The Maine State Chamber strongly supports an amendment proposed by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection that helps make the current law more workable, while protecting Maine people, the environment and Maine’s economy. Specifically, the amendment would allow our heat pump technology to continue to be used in the state. We encourage legislators to support the DEP amendment.

Regrettably, a recent competing amendment would make certain industries subject to a 2040 ban on PFAS in their products. While the Maine business community is open to sensible revisions, the 2040 date is completely arbitrary. No other state or country has adopted this standard, and it would be counterproductive to attracting modern industries to the state, from aviation and aeronautics to advanced defense manufacturing.

In the last few months, we have witnessed weather events across Maine that warn of a perilous future if we do not take action on carbon emissions and clean energy. Maine must continue its bold work to address climate change head-on, with every tool available to us. Heat pumps and clean energy technologies are critical tools, and changes to Maine’s current PFAS law are needed to make sure we don’t hinder our progress.

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