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Shaheen Boosts Funding for PFAS Health Impact Study to $15M in FY21 NDAA, Highest Funding Level Ever to Continue Study She Established

Shaheen Established First-Ever PFAS Health Impact Study in FY18 NDAA

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, successfully added her amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year (FY) 2021 to boost funding for the per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) health impact study, which she helped establish in the FY18 NDAA. The annual legislation authorizes national defense objectives for the fiscal year. Shaheen’s amendment authorizes $15 million to continue the study, which is an additional $5 million above what was in the underlying bill that cleared the Senate Armed Services Committee last month. The FY21 NDAA is currently being debated on the Senate floor.

“This PFAS health impact study is the first of its kind to help deliver long overdue answers to affected communities. I fought to establish this study after hearing from Granite Staters who were concerned what prolonged exposure to these contaminants would mean for the health and safety of their children and their families. Ensuring this study is completed as swiftly as possible, especially in light of delays due to the COVID-19 crisis, will continue to be my top concern,” said Shaheen. “PFAS contamination has affected families across the country, which is why I’ll keep working across the aisle to pursue policies that uncover the health effects, stop exposure, clean up contaminated sites and hold polluters accountable.”

Senator Shaheen has spearheaded efforts in Congress to uncover the potential health effects related to PFAS contamination, respond to the chemical exposure and remediate polluted sites. In this year’s NDAA, Senator Shaheen also included a requirement in the bill for the Department Of Defense (DOD) to explore PFAS destruction technology. Last year, Senator Shaheen successfully included a provision in the FY2020 NDAA that will phase out the use of PFAS in DOD firefighting foams and prohibit its use in the military after October 1, 2024. That provision also requires the military to publish a new firefighting foam military specification by January 1, 2023 and ensure it is available for use by October 1, 2023. She also included her legislation with Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) that would require the DOD to include blood testing for PFAS as part of routine physicals for military firefighters. 

After the 2021 NDAA cleared the Senate Armed Services Committee last month, Shaheen announced a number of New Hampshire and national security priorities that she successfully included in the underlying bill, which can be read in full here.