Maine Forest Products Council Legislative Update

LD 2112 goes beyond global agreements

Maine’s mills and suppliers are following suggested phase-out dates and upgrades laid out in the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, ratified by the United States in 1988, and the Kigali amendment of 2016. These global agreements are “intended to create market certainty and open international markets to new technology that is better for the environment, without compromising performance.”

I have underlined those last three words because manufacturers in Maine and the U.S. also are trying to stay competitive in the global economy. That requires realistic, practical policies that we can implement while we continue to do the things that make our manufacturing sector strong. However, LD 2112 goes beyond these global agreements with accelerated timelines that could be problematic. Read MFPC testimony.

This week, Jan. 18-22

Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee (ACF) – LD 2142 An Act Regarding Outcome-based Forestry and the Use of Glyphosate: The Council strongly oppose LD 2142 because it would change the Outcome Based Forestry program (OBF), which is functioning very well as is, and because it structurally different from a state board that has regulatory responsibilities and trained inspectors, such as the Board of Pesticide Control.

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ACF – LD 1888 An Act To Protect Children from Toxic Chemicals: This bill bans the use of nonselective herbicides, including, but not limited to, glyphosate, within 75 feet of school grounds, public playgrounds and child care centers. MFPC opposes.

ACF – LD 2083 An Act To Require the Board of Pesticides Control To Annually Publish Certain Information Regarding Pesticides and To Prohibit Certain Uses of Neonicotinoids: MFPC opposes. This bill requires:

  • The Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, Board of Pesticides Control to annually publish a summary of the reports received during the previous calendar year from commercial applicators of pesticides. For each pesticide reported to the board, the board’s annual summary must include information on the total quantity of pesticide applied and the total area treated in each county in the State.
    The Board of Pesticides Control to prohibit the use of any product containing neonicotinoids for landscape gardening by certified applicators or limit the use of any product containing neonicotinoids if the board determines that use is necessary to protect the State. The bill also requires the board to adopt rules establishing restrictions for the use of products containing neonicotinoids.

 

Environment and Natural Resources Committee – LD 2112 An Act To Limit the Use of Hydro-fluorocarbons To Fight Climate Change: Although the Council is supportive of the Governor’s initiative, we are seeking clarification on the availability of replacements.

Judiciary Committee – LD 2094 An Act To Implement the Recommendations of the Task Force on Changes to the Maine Indian Claims Settlement Implementing Act: The bill continues to be discussed in various committees with greater focus on the provisions in the bill. This is especially true for natural resource issues in front of the Environmental and Natural Resources and Inland Fisheries and Wildlife committees.

Transportation Committee – LD 2061 An Act Regarding the Transportation of Products in the Forest Products Industry: A disappointing party line vote Thursday on a very screwed up bill. Stay tuned.

Coming up next week, Jan. 25-29

LD 2136 An Act To Prohibit Contributions, Expenditures and Participation by Foreign Nationals To Influence Referenda, Public Hearing, Veterans and Legal Affairs, Wednesday, March 11, 9 a.m., State House, Room 437. MFPC opposes because businesses that own land or assets in Maine must be able to exercise their defense of those investments.

LD 2112 An Act To Limit the Use of Hydrofluorocarbons To Fight Climate Change. Work session, ENR, Wednesday, March 11,10:15 a.m., Cross Building, Room 216. MFPC opposes.

LD 2094 An Act to Implement the Recommendations of the Task Force on Changes to the Maine Indian Claims Settlement Implementing Act, Judiciary Committee. Environment and Natural Resources, Work session, Wednesday, March 11, 9:30 a.m., State House, Room 438. MFPC opposes.

LD 2104 An Act To Support and Increase the Recycling of Packaging. Environment and Natural Resources, Work Session, Thursday, March 11, 10:15 a.m., Cross Building, Room 216. MFPC opposes.
About MFPC

Since 1961, the Maine Forest Products Council has been the voice of Maine’s forest economy. MFPC’s members are landowners, loggers, truckers, paper mills, tree farmers, foresters, lumber processors and the owners of more than 8 million acres of commercial forestland, but they are also bankers, lawyers and insurance executives. The Council represents members at the Maine Legislature and across the state, in Washington D.C. and across the U.S.

Patrick Strauch, Executive Director
Pat Sirois, SFI Coordinator
Roberta Scruggs, Communications Director
Sue McCarthy, Office Manager
207-622-9288, www.maineforest.org