Shaheen Applauds $13.5M Defense Contract for Rochester’s Lydall Performance Materials to Increase N95 Mask Production

June 30, 2020

**New contract will help produce 1.7B N95 masks per year**

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) – a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee – applauded the announcement that Lydall Performance Materials in Rochester, New Hampshire has been awarded a $13.5 million contract with the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Department of Health and Human Services with funding provided through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

Lydall Performance Materials is an international company, with operations in Rochester. The Granite State manufacturer produces fabric used in N95 masks and is one of only a handful in the United States that makes this fabric. With assistance from Senator Shaheen’s office, Lydall representatives connected with the Department of Defense to apply for the contract. Under the contract, Lydall will install two new meltblown production lines, of which the federal government will fund half of each.

“I’m very pleased that Lydall, a Granite State-based business, is helping to lead the charge to bolster our domestic supply chain of urgently needed masks. Not only will this contract boost production of N95 masks to support our frontline workers, but it will create jobs here in Rochester,” said Shaheen. “Empowering our local companies and manufacturers through important contract opportunities like this is critical in our response strategy to COVID-19, and why we must continue to prioritize efforts that strengthen our domestic supply chain to fight today’s crisis, and whatever tomorrow may bring.”

“As a market leader in specialty filtration solutions for nearly 100 years, we feel great responsibility to do everything within our power to increase our output of filtration media for N95 respirators, surgical masks and air filtration systems,” said Sara A. Greenstein, President & CEO of Lydall. “We are incredibly thankful to the U.S. government for enabling us to further accelerate domestic production. We also want to thank Senator Shaheen, the city of Rochester and the state of New Hampshire for their support and collaboration. Together, we are supporting domestic supply chains, creating American jobs and contributing to the fight against COVID-19.”

Shaheen has led efforts to secure urgently needed personal protective equipment for New Hampshire. Senator Shaheen previously introduced the Homeland Procurement Reform Act, which would require the Department of Homeland Security to increase the amount of PPE it procures from American companies. This bill has bipartisan support and would ensure that the domestic supply chain for PPE is capable of supplying the critical items that FEMA and other federal agencies need during a national emergency. In April, Shaheen introduced legislation that lays out a framework for an effective COVID-19 response by federalizing and adding critical oversight and transparency to the supply chain for critical medical supplies and equipment.

Shaheen has also worked to ensure the domestic supply chain has the means and resources needed to quickly build and distribute a potential COVID-19 vaccine. In April, Shaheen called on the administration to immediately address concerns regarding the domestic supply chain for hypodermic needles and syringes needed to administer a COVID-19 vaccine to the nation once one has been developed. In May, the Senator followed up by urging the administration to release a detailed strategy that provides this vaccine free of charge to all Americans. She also sent a letter to President Trump requesting that he take immediate action to increase the long-term domestic supply chain for PPE in the United States. In her letter, she noted that companies in New Hampshire were ready to work with the federal government to increase PPE production if provided the necessary investments.