Honoring Legislative Leadership for Phasing Out Flame Retardants


Legislative Leadership Awards

Rep. Walter A. Kumiega III, D-Deer Isle, represents District 134 and led the charge to protect firefighters from harmful chemicals as the sponsor of our law to phase out flame retardants. A self-employed carpenter, Rep. Kumiega has served as chair of the Maine Legislature's Marine Resources Committee for the past five years. He previously served on the Deer Isle-Stonington School Committee for nine years, and currently serves on the board of Downeast Community Partners, the Head Start grantee and community action program for Hancock and Washington counties.

 “It was a long road to victory on LD 182, and I’d particularly like to thank Maine’s firefighters for the incredible work that they put into getting this bill passed,” Rep. Kumiega said after the law’s passage.

Rep. Jeff Pierce, R-Dresden, represents District 53. A building contractor, Rep. Pierce serves as the Chairman of the Dresden Planning Board. He is the founder and director of the Alewife Harvesters of Maine, co-chair for the NOAA River Herring Technical Expert Working Group, and advisor to the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council. Rep. Pierce’s father was a firefighter who died of esophageal cancer, and Pierce believes chemical exposures were responsible—which he shared time and again, as one of our staunchest legislative advocates for LD 182.

“This new law will bend the life cycle curve for our younger firefighters,” said Rep. Pierce.

Rep. Ralph Tucker, D-Brunswick, represents District 50. A graduate of Hobart College and the University of Maine Law School, Rep. Tucker practiced labor and workers’ compensation law statewide and served on the Maine Workers’ Compensation Board from 1981-1993, the last seven as chair. He served as a District Court judge for seven years before retiring. Rep. Tucker is House Chair of the Environment and Natural Resources Committee, where he spoke out for our law to phase out flame retardants as it was debated and finalized before being sent for votes by the full Legislature.

“This law’s passage demonstrates what our Legislature can do when we come to the table and work together to help Maine people,” said Rep. Tucker.

Our Legislative Leadership Award is given to a local, state, or federal legislator or legislators whose exceptional leadership embodies integrity, compassion, dedication, and courage in working for strong bipartisan support of policies in service to environmental health. Award winners have demonstrated extraordinary leadership in developing and championing policy that is responsive to the needs of their constituents. Working across political party lines, they have engaged their colleagues in valuable, progressive public service.