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Maine To Outlaw CCA-Treated Lumber

Jun 9, 2003 | Lawmakers in Maine have approved a ban on the sale of arsenic-treated wood. Despite strong opposition from the lumber industry, Gov.
Baldacci is expected to sign the bill into law, according to a report in the Bangor Daily News.

Introduced by Rep. Scott Cowger, D-Hallowell, the legislation states that beginning April 1, 2004, Maine lumber dealers can no longer sell arsenic-treated lumber for use in residential construction. There are also new restrictions on how treated lumber is disposed of, and it calls on the state to further study the risks linked to arsenic in the environment.

The bill is supposed to close a loophole in the deal the Environmental Protection Agency made with chemical manufacturers to stop producing arsenic-treated lumber by the beginning of next year. That deal did not impose sales restrictions, so treated lumber could still be stored and then sold for years to come, or even imported from overseas, according to Michael Belliveau of the Environmental Health Strategy Center in Bangor, Maine.

In addition to the ban, lawmakers also approved a measure that would exempt local lumber dealers from any liability linked to arsenic-treated lumber they sold in the past.

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