Maine Pushes Ahead With Pair of Pioneering Green Laws

Maine — known, we found out via Google just moments ago, as the Pine Tree State — is leading the state pack with a couple of eco-friendly laws. A bill approved this week by the state legislature will make Maine the first state to ban the sale of products containing the brominated flame retardant known as deca by Jan. 1, 2008. Deca is the most commonly used of the polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), several of which have been found in elevated levels in the breast milk of women in the U.S. and Europe. (Maine also banned two other PBDEs, penta and octa, but they got scooped by California — the Golden State — on that one.) Also soon to become law in Maine is a bill regulating the discharge of so-called “gray water” — dirty water from sewage systems, showers, sinks, laundries, and such — from cruise ships off the state coast. Maine is the second state in the nation to take on the cruise ship industry this way, narrowly edged out by Alaska — the Last Frontier State. Yup: It’s a slow news day.