PFAS Provisions Championed & Supported by Shaheen Included in Newly Released Government Funding LegislationDecember 16, 2019
**$10 Million to Continue Nationwide PFAS Health Impact Study Established by Shaheen**
(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, issued the following statement announcing that government funding legislation for fiscal year (FY) 2020 released by Senate and House leaders today will include a number of provisions authored and supported by Shaheen to respond to per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination. Some of these priorities include an additional $10 million to continue the nationwide PFAS health impact study that Shaheen established in the FY2018 defense bill and funding for PFAS personal protective equipment research for firefighters’ protective gear.
“The health risks and concerns related to PFAS exposure are frightening for affected families. No one should be afraid to turn on the tap and no firefighter or service member should fear for their own safety because of their gear or the equipment they use. Unfortunately, this is a reality for too many people who have been impacted by PFAS exposure, which is why a federal response must be a top congressional priority. Today’s legislation makes good on that effort and includes a number of my measures to tackle this pervasive problem,” said Shaheen. “Continuing the health impact study, boosting resources for research and expediting cleanup of contaminated sites are critical to understanding and stopping this problem. This funding legislation takes a number of important steps forward and I’ll keep raising this issue to ensure our communities get the answers and help they need.”
Specifically, the government funding legislation for FY2020 includes the following provisions to respond to PFAS exposure:
- $10 million to continue the PFAS health impact study Shaheen established in the FY2018 defense bill;
- $2 million for research into firefighter personal protective equipment, which is a key component in Shaheen’s bipartisan bill with Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) that takes important steps to address concerns regarding firefighters’ occupational exposure to PFAS chemicals through their personal protective equipment;
- $251 million for aqueous firefighting foam replacement and disposal and for PFAS remediation at military bases;
- $43 million for the EPA to help states address PFAS contamination and remediation, as well as language authored by Shaheen that urges the EPA to expeditiously remediate Superfund sites contaminated by emerging contaminants, including PFAS; and
- More than $12.8 million in support of EPA efforts to designate PFAS chemicals as hazardous substances under the Superfund law, also known as CERCLA. Earlier this year, Senator Shaheen cosponsored legislation that would mandate that the EPA within one year of enactment declare PFAS as hazardous substances eligible for cleanup funds under CERCLA.
Senator Shaheen has led efforts in Congress to address PFAS exposure and established the first-ever nationwide PFAS health impact study in FY2018 defense legislation. Senator Shaheen successfully fought for Pease to serve as a model site for the nationwide study, and it is currently accepting participants.
In addition to the priorities secured by Shaheen in this appropriations bill, Shaheen also recently announced numerous measures that she successfully added to the annual defense legislation for FY2020. The defense bill includes Shaheen’s legislation to confront occupational exposure to PFAS— the Protecting Military Firefighters from PFAS Act, Shaheen’s provision that would phase out the Department of Defense's use of firefighting foam containing PFAS, and authorization of the $10 million for the health impact study that Shaheen included in the government funding bill released today.
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