Shaheen Holds Meeting with Community Leaders in Merrimack to Discuss Latest Effort to Combat PFAS Exposure

July 31, 2020

 

7.31.20 Shaheen at Merrimack 1

7.31.20 Shaheen at Merrimack 2

Shaheen speaks to community leaders & activists in Merrimack on her new PFAS legislation, the Physician Education for PFAS Health Impacts Act

 

Later in Derry: Shaheen Meets with T-Bones Owners to Discuss Their Experiences with the Paycheck Protection Program & Need for Continued Relief Amid COVID-19 Crisis

 

7.31.20 Shaheen at Derry T-Bones

Shaheen discusses the Paycheck Protection Program with Derry T-Bones Owners Bill Greiner and Tom Boucher

(Manchester, NH) – Today, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) held a meeting with community leaders and activists in Merrimack to discuss her latest effort to combat per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination. Later in Derry, she met with the owners of T-Bones to hear about the impact of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which has been a lifeline for small businesses in the Granite State amid the COVID-19 crisis.

In Merrimack, Shaheen discussed her bipartisan bill – the Physician Education for PFAS Health Impacts Act – which would promote the creation of educational courses for physicians regarding the health impacts of PFAS chemicals. Specifically, it would establish a grant program within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to fund the creation of training and education courses as well as materials for physicians on the health effects of PFAS and best practices for caring for patients who have been exposed to PFAS. During the meeting, Shaheen heard more from community leaders on issues they have been experiencing with the lack of physician education and familiarity on the health effects of PFAS exposure and provided a legislative update on her continuing efforts in the Senate to prevent and combat PFAS contamination.

Understanding the full scope of PFAS health impacts has been one of Senator Shaheen’s top priorities in the Senate. She led efforts to establish the first-ever nationwide health study on the impacts of PFAS substances in drinking water. The Senator’s introduction of the Physician Education for PFAS Health Impacts Act follows her call to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in September to develop health monitoring protocols for medical care for those exposed to PFAS. Shaheen also recently raised questions with HHS about the impact of COVID-19 on those who’ve been exposed to PFAS chemicals.

“I appreciate the opportunity I had today to meet with a representative of the NH Medical Society and community leaders in Merrimack, who, unfortunately, know all too well the fear and uncertainty that comes from PFAS exposure. Though PFAS contamination is a serious problem in New Hampshire and the nation, many families grappling with potential exposure have found that getting the treatment they need is hindered by their physicians’ lack of familiarity with PFAS,” said Shaheen. “My legislation would help ensure physicians have the critical information and resources they need to provide the best possible care to patients impacted by PFAS exposure. The feedback I heard today will be helpful as I advocate for this legislation in the Senate.”

 

Later, Shaheen, a senior member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, met with T-Bones owners Bill Greiner and Tom Boucher at their Derry restaurant to learn more about their experience with the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on their small business. The visit follows Shaheen’s successful effort on the Senate floor to extend the PPP deadline until August 8. The PPP has been a lifeline for small businesses in New Hampshire, with over $2.5 billion in assistance disbursed to more than 24,000 businesses across the state. However, many small businesses that have already received a PPP loan are continuing to struggle. Shaheen has called for the passage of the Prioritized Paycheck Protection Program (P4) Act, legislation she introduced that would allow small businesses to access a second round of PPP loans.

 

“Thanks to the Paycheck Protection Program, Bill and Tom, like thousands of other Granite State small business owners, have been able to keep their business afloat. I’m glad to have been able to visit T-Bones this morning and hear more about their experiences with PPP and the challenges they face as their business continues to grapple with the fallout from COVID-19,” said Shaheen. “As our conversation highlighted, New Hampshire small businesses are still hurting. It is incumbent that Congress deliver further relief to those hardest hit, which is why I’m fighting to pass my legislation that would fund a second round of the PPP.”