Shaheen Announces Federal Funds Transferred from DOD to ATSDR to Carry Out PFAS Health-Impact Study

September 10, 2018

Shaheen Established the First-ever Nationwide PFAS Health-Impact Study in the FY2018 Defense Bill & Secured Federal Funding to Implement the Study in FY2018 Government Funding Legislation

Shaheen Successfully Pushed for Pease International Tradeport to Be Included in the Study; Due to Shaheen’s Advocacy Pease Will Also Serve As a Test Model Site

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, announced today that the Department of Defense (DOD) successfully transferred federal funds to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) to move forward with the process of carrying out the per- and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) health-impact study that Shaheen established in the fiscal year (FY) 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Shaheen also secured authorization to fund the study in the FY2018 NDAA, and as a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, fought to ensure those federal dollars were allocated in the government funding bill. A total of $10 million was appropriated in the FY2018 omnibus funding legislation that was signed into law in March, and those funds were transferred from DOD to ATSDR. ATSDR is the federal agency that will conduct the study.

“I’m glad to share with our community that the health-impact study is moving forward, and efforts are underway to finally deliver answers to families in New Hampshire and beyond who have been affected by PFAS contamination in their drinking water supplies,” said Shaheen. “Pease’s inclusion in this study will have a far-reaching influence and provide insight to other Granite State cities and towns that are similarly struggling with PFAS exposure. I appreciate the continued advocacy of our residents to raise this issue and their determination to fight for meaningful action. I’ll keep working to get New Hampshire residents the information they need and deserve, and will continue to reach across the aisle to advance research and response measures to combat emerging contaminant exposure.” 

Senator Shaheen has prioritized efforts in Congress to uncover the potential health effects of emerging contaminants in water supplies. In addition to establishing and funding the PFAS health-impact study for FY2018, Shaheen worked to include an additional $10 million for the second year of the health-impact study, which she authorized in the FY2019 NDAA and appropriated in the defense funding legislation that passed the Senate in August. Shaheen also worked to include specific language in the FY2019 defense bill that streamlines the process of transferring funds from DOD to ATSDR, to facilitate the funding process of the study going forward.

Last month, Senator Shaheen joined a bipartisan group of Senators to introduce legislation that would hold federal agencies accountable to address PFAS contamination at military bases around the country. This bipartisan bill continues Shaheen’s work on PFAS exposure research as it specifically relates to service members and veterans, who are in environments that have higher exposure to these chemicals. In April, Senator Shaheen worked with Senator Mike Rounds (R-SD) to introduce the PFAS Registry Act, which would create a national database for service members and veterans experiencing health problems potentially due to PFAS exposure. The bill would allow military personnel and veterans to receive updates on recent scientific developments on the effects of PFAS exposure and information on what resources may be available to address their health concerns.