This year the Environmental Priorities Coalition’s nine priority bills represent the best collective opportunities to tackle climate change, help create jobs, reduce pollution in our communities, increase investment in critical infrastructure, and bring more equity into environmental policy decisions.

Watch the recording of the EPC's 2021 Kick Off Event here.

Epc 2021 Priority Bills Website Photos 5

Ban Aerial Herbicide Spraying for Forestry Management

Status: Work Session scheduled for May 6

Forestry herbicides such as glyphosate threaten public health, ecological systems, and local farms—yet Maine’s large forest landowners routinely use aerial spraying of these hazardous chemicals to manage their property. Banning this practice will encourage a shift toward more ecologically friendly forestry management.

Factsheets: Aerial Herbicides 2021 Factsheet

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Recognize Tribal Sovereignty

Status: Carried Over (to the next session)

The Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act of 1980 established a different, more restrictive status for the Wabanaki tribes in Maine than that of all 570 other federally-recognized tribes in the United States. A bipartisan task force recommended 22 changes to the Act to restore the tribes’ inherent rights, including the tribes’ right to regulate hunting, fishing, natural resources, and land use on tribal lands, as allowed by federal law.

Factsheets: Tribal Sovereignty 2021 Factsheet

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Invest in Land, Water, and Parks

Status: Public Hearing held April 26

Maine’s natural resources promote health, boost our economy, and offer climate solutions. The Land for Maine’s Future (LMF) program protects these resources—including working forestland, farmland, and waterfront sites—and secures public access to mountain summits, rivers, lakes, and coastal shorelands in all 16 counties. LMF can also provide the required match to significant federal funds.

Factsheets: Land For Maines Future 2021 Factsheet

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Stop Filling Maine Landfills with Out-of-State Waste

Status: Printed — Public Hearing scheduled for May 17

A loophole in Maine’s waste management laws allows landfilling out-of-state waste, including hazardous construction and demolition debris. As a result, Juniper Ridge Landfill in Alton has become a dumping ground for toxic waste, threatening the area’s drinking water supply and sites of historical, cultural, spiritual significance for the Penobscot Nation. Closing the loophole will protect Maine’s environment and communities.

Factsheets: Out Of State Waste 2021 Factsheet

Epc 2021 Priority Bills Website Photos 9

Save Maine’s Municipal Recycling Programs

Status: Printed — Public Hearing scheduled for May 10

Product packaging, including plastic, cardboard, glass, and metal, makes up 30-40% of the materials management by Maine’s municipal waste management programs. Extended Producer Responsibility for Packaging would make manufacturers—not Maine taxpayers—responsible for the cost of recycling these materials, making recycling more effective, sustainable, and equitable.

Factsheets: Municipal Recycling 2021 Factsheet

Epc 2021 Priority Bills Website Photos 10

Align State Agencies with Climate Requirements

Decisions by state agencies and regulatory bodies have the potential to implement Maine’s Climate Action Plan and advance our economic, energy, and environmental success. Reforming enabling statutes would empower regulators to consider emissions reductions and environmental justice, as well as costs, in their decisions.

Factsheets: Regulatory Reform 2021 Factsheet

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Establish a Green Bank to Finance Climate Solutions

Financing is essential to rapid, equitable deployment of climate solutions. Green Banks make it easier to finance clean energy, energy efficiency, and climate resilience by standardizing the process, reducing risks for local lenders, lowering interest rates, and leveraging public and private investment. Establishing a Clean Energy Accelerator will prepare Maine to maximize federal funding without committing state dollars.

Factsheets: Green Bank 2021 Factsheet

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Phase Out Toxic PFAS Chemicals

Status: Printed — Public Hearing held May 3

Toxic PFAS are contaminating our lands and waters, threatening public health, and burdening municipalities with expensive cleanup. We can turn off the tap of these “forever chemicals” by phasing out use of PFAS where safer alternatives exist and requiring manufacturers to pay a reporting fee to fund source-reduction and remediation.

Factsheets: Pfas 2021 Factsheet

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Fund Energy Efficiency and Weatherization Projects

Status: Public Hearing held April 21

Heating, cooling, and lighting Maine buildings is responsible for one-third of our carbon pollution and a significant financial burden on seniors, low-income residents, schools, and towns. Investing in energy efficiency and weatherization will reduce energy costs, support green jobs, and protect our climate.

Factsheets: Weatherization 2021 Factsheet

Epc 2021 Priority Bills Website Photos 14

COMING SOON: Adopt Official Sea Level Rise Projections

Status: Printed — Public Hearing scheduled for May 7