Shaheen, Collins Lead Bipartisan Letter to President Biden Urging Funding for PFAS Research & Remediation in FY2023 Budget Request

February 02, 2022

(Washington, DC) – Today, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) led a bipartisan letter with Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) urging President Biden to prioritize robust funding to combat per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in the fiscal year (FY) 2023 budget request to Congress. The letter asks for funding to support agencies and programs that will help close gaps in PFAS research, protect public health and the environment from PFAS contamination and support testing and cleanup of contaminated sites. 

“PFAS chemicals have emerged as widespread contaminants affecting thousands of communities across the country, causing significant concern for those drinking contaminated water or facing significant exposures through their work or military service,” the Senators began. “The prevalence of PFAS combined with the adverse health impacts associated with exposure—including developmental effects, changes in liver, immune, and thyroid function and increased risk of some cancers—requires a comprehensive approach.”

“We encourage you to provide detailed funding plans for a broad range of agencies and programs in your budget request to Congress for Fiscal Year 2023 to address the scale and scope of the challenges presented by PFAS,” they wrote. “Specifically, we ask that your budget request include dedicated funding to close gaps in data and research to better inform responses and drive innovation. Second, we urge prioritization of regulatory work necessary to enhance protections for public health and the environment. Finally, we encourage robust funding to support ongoing testing and cleanup of existing contamination nationwide.”

In addition to Senators Shaheen and Collins, U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Thomas Carper (D-DE), Chris Coons (D-DE), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), John Hickenlooper (D-CO), Mark Kelly (D-AZ), Angus King (I-ME), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), Ed Markey (D-MA), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Gary Peters (D-MI), Jack Reed (D-RI), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Tina Smith (D-MN), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Raphael Warnock (D-GA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) also signed onto the letter.                         

The full text of the letter is available here.

Senator Shaheen leads efforts in Congress to uncover the potential health effects related to PFAS contamination, respond to the chemical exposure and remediate polluted sites. As a lead negotiator of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act that was signed into law, Shaheen secured $10 billion to address PFAS contamination in drinking water. Last month, Shaheen announced New Hampshire will receive more than $72 million in federal funds from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to improve New Hampshire’s drinking water and wastewater systems, including addressing PFAS and lead in Granite State water supplies. The bipartisan infrastructure law also includes Shaheen’s legislation to expand EPA’s Assistance for Small and Disadvantaged Communities program to allow states to assist more households, including those who rely on private wells, impacted by contaminants such as PFAS. In the FY2022 National Defense Authorization Act, Shaheen successfully secured an authorization for an additional $15 million to continue the PFAS health impact study at Pease, as well as passage of a comprehensive PFAS amendment with Senators Gillibrand and Blumenthal. Shaheen has fought to secure consistent federal support for the Pease study that she established four years ago. Because of her efforts, Pease is serving as a model site for the nationwide study.    

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