The MIC has announced that two major bills have been passed in Minnesota and Maine that will create challenges for the powersports industry. One bill is set to ban products containing PFAS chemicals, and both of them specify strict reporting requirements.
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In Minnesota, HF 2310 bans products for juveniles that contain PFAS beginning Jan. 1, 2025. It also specifies PFAS registration requirements beginning Jan. 1, 2026, and bans all products containing PFAS on New Year’s Day in 2032. The MIC Government Relations Office submitted comments throughout Minnesota’s legislative process urging for the exclusion of powersports products from its PFAS ban, but they were not accepted by lawmakers there.
The Maine legislation provides the industry with some relief, as H.P. 138 extends the PFAS reporting deadline to Jan. 1, 2025. It also exempts manufacturers that employ 25 or fewer people from reporting requirements and specifies that changes to the state’s PFAS law are retroactive to Jan. 1 of this year.
Maine’s new law also authorizes reporting the amount of total organic fluorine, if the amount of each PFAS compound is not known and allows the reported amount of PFAS to be based on information provided by the supplier rather than through testing. The MIC Government Relations Office (GRO) supported this legislation.
Minnesota’s new PFAS legislation will present significant challenges for powersports companies doing business in the state. Chemical manufacturer 3M, based in Minnesota, recently made national news surrounding a $10.3 billion settlement.
The MIC Technical Programs and the GRO established the PFAS Working Group to examine PFAS legislation and proposals, and develop a comprehensive approach to federal and state regulations that could forever change manufacturing across the industry.
“PFAS presents a major powersports industry challenge, and whether you’re an OE, aftermarket, or riding gear manufacturer, you must learn about government PFAS proposals and look for ways to replace PFAS in products you sell,” said Eric Barnes, MIC technical programs vice president.
The nationally broadcast “Sunday Morning” on CBS led the news program with a report on PFAS.
In powersports, PFAS chemicals can be found in or used to produce products such as riding gear, vehicle components resistant to heat, fuel, and chemicals, as well as semiconductors and chrome plating.
Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances are a class of synthetic chemicals used for decades in a wide range of consumer products. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, these are “long lasting chemicals, components of which break down very slowly over time” and “are found in the blood of people and animals all over the world and are present at low levels in a variety of food products and in the environment.”
Both federal and state governments have examined the health impacts of PFAS in recent years and many bills have been introduced to ban its use. Some states are also setting up registries to list any vehicles, components, parts, and clothing that contain PFAS.