PFAs Moderator's Committee

Charge

CHARGE TO MODERATOR’S COMMITTEE RE DISTRIBUTION OF PRODUCTS CONTAINING PFAS

Article 22 of Brookline’s May 2022 Annual Town Meeting sought to amend Article 8 of Brookline’s Health and Public Safety By-Laws to restrict the sale and distribution of products containing fluorinated hydrocarbons or PFAS (Per- and Polyfluorinated Alkyl Substances) in Brookline, including:

  • Over-the-counter cosmetic or personal care products
  • Bulk packaged items, including food ware products 
  • New non-stick cookware
  • Fabric-treatment products

Article 22 was referred to a Moderator’s Committee (hereinafter the “PFAS Moderator’s Committee”) to determine whether it is possible to develop a workable and effective by-law restricting the sale and distribution of PFAS products in Brookline.

Issues to be considered by the PFAS Moderator’s Committee shall include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Given that product packaging does not always identify whether a product contains fluorinated hydrocarbons, what reasonable measures can be taken to identify non-labelled products?
  2. Who should be responsible for identifying non-labelled products containing fluorinated hydrocarbons?
  3. If restrictions on the sale and distribution of products containing fluorinated hydrocarbons are imposed, how should these restrictions be enforced and by whom?
  4. Should penalties be imposed on entities that violate a Town bylaw restricting the sale or distribution of products containing fluorinated hydrocarbons?  Who will monitor compliance and enforce penalties? How will this be funded?
  5. What exemptions should be applied (e.g., for food service industry) to any restrictions on the sale and distribution of products containing fluorinated hydrocarbons?

The PFAS Moderator’s Committee shall prepare a Preliminary Report to Brookline Town Meeting by the May Annual 2023 Meeting summarizing its preliminary conclusions relating to possible restrictions on the sale and distribution of products containing fluorinated hydrocarbons.  It shall submit a Final Report to Town Meeting by the November 2023 Special Town Meeting containing its final conclusions and recommendations regarding possible restrictions on the sale and distribution of products containing fluorinated hydrocarbons in Brookline.  In addition, if the Final Report recommends amendments to Town bylaws, the Final Report shall include one or more proposed warrant articles relating to these recommended amendments.  

Kate Poverman
Brookline Town Moderator
August 28, 2022