LePage Proposes Huge Enviro Protection Cuts
Maine Governor Paul LePage has sent a list of recommendations to the Legislature's Joint Select Committee on Regulatory Fairness and Reform that, if they were enacted as legislation, would eliminate a wide range of environmental protections.
The governor's office has not yet posted the list publicly, despite a press release promising to do so by Monday morning, but the list has been circulated to legislators.
Included in this list of recommendations, labeled "Phase One," are provisions which would essentially overturn the Kid-Safe Products Act, passed in 2008, which prevents manufacturers from using some of the most dangerous toxic chemicals in products that come into contact with children.
Also targeted is Maine's recently passed product stewardship law, which is designed to make manufacturers repsonsible for the cost of the disposal of hazardous substances found electronic waste, rather than Maine taxpayers.
Maine's law banning the use of the endocrine disruptor bisphenol-A in baby bottles, water bottles, and sippy cups is also slated for elimination.
In addition to those protections specifically targeted for repeal, the proposal also contains a recommendation that the committee should "[c]onform Maine statutory and regulatory standards to federally required standards." This provision would effectively eliminate every single environmental protection in the state not already enshrined in national law.
Environmental organizations have already begun crying foul over the attack on Maine's environmental protection framework.
"Maine’s water, land, and wildlife are the heartbeat of our economy and our way of life," said Maine League of Conservation Voters executive director Maureen Drouin by email. "This proposal is nothing short of reckless. Dismantling our environmental protections flies in the face of common sense and takes us in the completely wrong direction."