NH Stakeholders, Activists Hail Shaheen and Hassan for Historic Investments in Environment, Spearheading Water Infrastructure, Energy Efficiency & Coastal Resilience Priorities Included in Bipartisan Infrastructure PackageAugust 13, 2021
**Shaheen was a lead negotiator of the infrastructure package, steered bipartisan talks on water infrastructure**
***Hassan was one of the G-22 helping lead negotiations of the bill; secured critical wins for New Hampshire on coastal resilience***
**Shaheen includes bipartisan energy efficiency bill in bipartisan infrastructure legislation cleared by Senate**
(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) celebrated the Senate’s passage of the bipartisan infrastructure deal this week, which makes historic investments in the environment. Shaheen was a key negotiator around provisions related to water infrastructure – which she led with Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) – and Senator Hassan spearheaded provisions related to coastal resiliency with Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA). The bill also addresses the need to improve energy efficiency – Shaheen successfully included crucial provisions of her bipartisan energy efficiency bill with Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) in the legislation. The infrastructure package also builds on the bill introduced by Senators Hassan and Susan Collins (R-ME) – the Battery Storage Innovation Act. After the Senate cleared the legislation on Tuesday, New Hampshire environmental stakeholders and activists lauded the landmark investments:
After the Senate cleared the legislation on Tuesday, New Hampshire environmental stakeholders and activists lauded the landmark investments:
“The New Hampshire Water Works Association is pleased and excited by the passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill that promises over $55 billion to repair and upgrade our aging drinking water and wastewater treatment and distribution systems. New Hampshire has roughly 2,500 public drinking water systems serving over 750,000 people, with many facilities at or well beyond their expected operational life. With an estimated $2 billion required to keep our drinking water flowing, our wastewater clean, and our dams safe, this initial influx of federal funds puts us well on the way to addressing decades of deferred maintenance. Thank you to Senators Shaheen and Hassan for working so diligently to pass the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill,” said Boyd Smith, Executive Director of New Hampshire Water Works Association.
“I’m so grateful for Senator Shaheen’s leadership on the bipartisan infrastructure bill and the $10 billion dollars that has been allocated to address PFAS across our nation. New Hampshire was one of the first states to be devastated by PFAS contamination in 2014 and Senator Shaheen has been a fierce leader in Washington by raising awareness about this national issue. She has worked incredibly hard over the last several years to pass innovative legislation and appropriate the much needed resources to help so many in our state facing PFAS contamination. The infrastructure bill is another huge step in the right direction in tackling PFAS in New Hampshire and across the nation and I’m deeply grateful Senator Shaheen was instrumental in prioritizing $10 billion dollars in this historic infrastructure bill. Senator Shaheen has been a true leader on PFAS and so much progress has been made directly because of her work in Congress. I am forever grateful for the work she has and continues to do on PFAS,” said Andrea Amico, Co-founder of Testing for Pease.
“Senator Shaheen knows that communities such as mine are bearing the immense cost of PFAS contamination impacts to our water supply. I am so pleased to see funds secured in this historic infrastructure bill for PFAS remediation as we should not be paying millions of dollars to filter out toxic chemicals that were allowed into our aquifers,” said Laurene Allen, Co-founder of Merrimack Citizens for Clean Water.
“The Granite State Rural Water Association (GSRWA), who represents 233 water and wastewater systems, as well as 89 businesses and independent water professionals, applauds the passage of the sweeping, historic bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act which includes robust funding and financing for drinking water and wastewater infrastructure. GSRWA praises Senator Shaheen’s leadership throughout the intense negotiations. The resources she fought for will result in enhanced protection for public health and the environment, job creation, economic growth, resilient communities and affordable utility rates. GSRWA is under no illusions that the hardest work is yet to come to take full advantage of this generational investment and we stand at the ready to maximize these benefits for New Hampshirites, especially those that lack the technical capacity and resources to do so. We are also eager to continue working with Senator Shaheen to realize the provisions included in her bipartisan legislation (S. 209) which will allow USDA Rural Development the flexibility to better meet the needs of disadvantaged, underserved, lower income and very small communities across New Hampshire and country,” said Heidi Lauricella, Executive Director of the Granite State Rural Water Alliance.
“The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act would bring resources directly to local governments in NH for long overdue investments in and improvements to vital infrastructure. The Act addresses several priorities for New Hampshire cities and towns, including investments in clean water projects and drinking water projects and funding to help local governments promote energy efficiency and advance renewable energy projects. We also applaud the inclusion of broadband, which recognizes that reliable and affordable access to the internet is a critical component of local infrastructure,” said Margaret Byrnes, Executive Director of the New Hampshire Municipal Association.
“The New Hampshire Water Pollution Control Association would like to thank the New Hampshire federal delegation for their leadership in the passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The $43.4 billion dollars for Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds will help to maintain or replace failing infrastructure and fund expansion to meet the needs of our growing economy. This bill recognizes the importance of the often unseen and forgotten pipes and plants that produce, convey, and treat the water we use every day,” said Mike Carle, President of the New Hampshire Water Pollution Control Association.
“Hampstead Area Water Company, Inc. (HAWC) supports the efforts to date by Senator Shaheen and members of the Senate in repealing the Contributions In Aid of Construction tax in the infrastructure bill. We look forward to this bill passing and becoming law,” said Charlie Lanza, General Manager of the Hampstead Area Water Company.
"Simply put, this bill is a huge deal for New Hampshire. Transportation is the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the state, and we are way behind on installing the electric vehicle charging infrastructure we will need. This funding will be critical to catalyzing the clean energy transition," said Sam Evans-Brown, Executive Director of Clean Energy NH.
“I’ve spent my career studying the impact of climate change on marine ecosystems and supporting work to help coastal communities adapt to the many threats climate change presents to society,” said NH Sea Grant Director, Dr. Erik Chapman. “ To me, there’s no question that the bi-partisan Infrastructure Bill supported by Senator Hassan will make a huge difference in helping us respond to the threat of climate change in our coastal communities.”
"Coastal resilience is a priority today for the communities of the NH Seacoast and the need will be exacerbated by the effects of a warming climate,” said Tim Roache, Executive Director of the Rockingham Planning Commission. "The investments made possible by the funding in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act are critical to planning for and achieving a sustainable and resilient NH Seacoast."
Shaheen helped secure $55 billion to upgrade and replace water infrastructure in New Hampshire and across the country – the largest investment in safe drinking water in America’s history. This also includes $10 billion to address per- and polyfluoralkyl substances (PFAS) contamination and $15 billion to replace lead service lines, which have been significant issues impacting Granite State communities. The infrastructure package also includes Shaheen’s bipartisan legislation to fix to the Contribution-in-Aid of Construction (CIAC) tax issue, which arose after congressional Republicans and the Trump administration reinstated the tax in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. This tax has resulted in at least $1.15 million in new federal taxes for water infrastructure projects in Southern New Hampshire. Senator Hassan’s provision, the Advanced Drinking Water Technology Grant Program amendment, was included in the package to better ensure that New Hampshire towns would be eligible for an advanced technology grant program that can be used to remove PFAS from drinking water.
These new federal resources and reducing tax burdens on water ratepayers will allow communities to address aging and inadequate water infrastructure and help ensure all American families have access to safe and clean drinking water, while promoting economic growth and creating new jobs.
Shaheen also successfully included crucial provisions of her bipartisan energy efficiency bill with Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), as well as several other legislative priorities, including the Smart Manufacturing Leadership Act, the Heat Efficiency through Applied Technology (HEAT) Act and the Promoting American Energy Jobs Act. Together, these bills will promote innovation, energy efficiency and economic competitiveness of American manufacturers and support the energy workforce. Shaheen added these provisions when the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources voted to advance the Energy Infrastructure Act last month.
Senator Hassan directly negotiated $492 million for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Coastal Resiliency Fund, a partnership with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. This program improves the resilience of coastal communities to flooding and inundation by restoring or expanding natural ecosystems, while enhancing fish and wildlife habitats and increasing protection for communities from coastal hazards. As communities including on the Seacoast feel the impact of climate change and rising sea levels, Senator Hassan also successfully secured $491 million for the NOAA Community-Based Restoration Project. This program helps protect the safety and well-being of coastal communities by buffering shorelines from erosion, reducing flooding, and removing potentially hazardous structures.
In addition, the bipartisan package supports domestic battery energy storage development and deployment, technology needed to increase the use of renewable energy sources and eliminate reliability gaps throughout the day. These provisions build on Senator Hassan’s bipartisan Battery Storage Innovation Act – which was signed into law as part of the December government funding package.
In June, Shaheen joined President Biden and a bipartisan group of senators to announce the framework of the package. Shaheen later joined members of the bipartisan group on the Senate floor to unveil bill text of the legislation. Shaheen is a key negotiator and led provisions on broadband and water infrastructure, which she highlighted during her remarks on the Senate floor last week.
Senator Hassan worked to negotiate key provisions of the bill, including to expand access to high-speed internet, strengthen future funding opportunities for passenger rail to connect Nashua, Manchester, and Concord to Boston, and strengthen cybersecurity.
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