Shaheen Leads Key PFAS Amendment to FY2022 NDAA to Set Deadline for PFAS Testing at DOD Facilities, Develop a Remediation Schedule for Contaminated Sites & Codify PFAS Task Force

July 22, 2021

**Shaheen-Blumenthal-Gillibrand amendment would codify DOD PFAS Task Force, establish PFAS testing deadline at all DOD installations & direct DOD to submit a status report on PFAS remediation efforts at U.S. military installations with some of the highest detections across the country, including Pease**   

**Shaheen also successfully authorized an additional $15 million to continue the PFAS health impact study she established in the 2018 NDAA** 

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, successfully led a comprehensive amendment to the fiscal year (FY) 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) with U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) to investigate, combat and remediate exposure to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) at current and former U.S. military installations across the country, including at Pease Air National Guard Base in New Hampshire. 

Specifically, the amendment would take the following critical steps to address PFAS contamination at military sites across the country: 

  • Codify the PFAS Task Force established by then-Secretary of Defense Mark Esper following his commitment to Shaheen to prioritize combating PFAS; 
  • Establish a deadline for the Department of Defense (DOD) to test for PFAS at all DOD installations; 
  • Direct DOD to develop a remediation schedule to address PFAS contamination at military facilities;
  • Require DOD to produce a status report on PFAS remediation efforts at military facilities with some of the highest detections across the country, including Pease. This is based on the Filthy Fifty Act, legislation Shaheen introduced with Senator Gillibrand, last month

Shaheen also successfully secured an authorization for an additional $15 million to continue the PFAS health impact study at Pease. The study, established by Shaheen in the FY18 NDAA, is examining the health implications related to exposure to these toxic chemicals through contaminated water at the base. 

The FY22 NDAA was passed by the Senate Armed Services Committee. It will next be considered by the full Senate. 

“Our service members risk their lives each day to protect our nation. The last thing they should have to worry about are threats to their health – and that of their families – due to exposure to chemicals here at home. That’s why addressing PFAS contamination at military facilities in New Hampshire and across the country and investigating the health impacts on those exposed have long been top priorities for me as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee,” said Senator Shaheen. “The annual defense bill always presents a critical opportunity to make progress on this issue, which is why I’m very pleased by the bipartisan support on the committee for my amendment with Senators Blumenthal and Gillibrand to take meaningful steps to keep our men and women in uniform, and their loved ones, safe. This amendment will ensure better transparency and accountability to confront and clean up PFAS, which is what our communities have long called for. I’m glad to share with Granite Staters and all Americans that we are one step closer to delivering on that effort, and I'll keep working across the aisle to deliver this legislation through Congress and to the President’s desk.” 

“Our service members risk their lives every day to keep us safe, and Congress has a duty to provide the resources needed to accelerate the Department of Defense’s cleanup efforts of toxic PFAS chemicals,” said Senator Gillibrand. “I am proud to have worked with Senator Shaheen to secure these important provisions, a number of which were based off my Filthy Fifty Act, that will help us better understand the scope and consequences of toxic PFAS exposure and better protect the health of our service members, their families, and surrounding communities. The inclusion of these amendments in the NDAA is an important step in the fight to protect public health and the environment from toxic PFAS contamination.”

“This measure takes strong steps to protect our military from the harmful health effects of toxic PFAS chemicals,” said Senator Blumenthal. “By establishing a task force and producing a report on remediation efforts, the Department of Defense will begin the much-needed commitment of eliminating exposure to these hazardous toxins. I’m proud to have fought for this critical amendment alongside Senators Shaheen and Gillibrand.”

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. In June, Shaheen announced new legislation to clean up PFAS at military installations with the highest levels of contamination. Shaheen has fought to secure consistent federal support for the PFAS health impact study that she established four years ago. Because of their efforts, Pease is serving as a model site for the nationwide study. The study at Pease is actively seeking participants.  

In February, Shaheen reintroduced bipartisan legislation with Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) to provide rural communities under economic strain during the COVID-19 pandemic with $1 billion in emergency assistance to repair, modernize and renovate failing water infrastructure. She has also championed legislation, the PFAS Testing and Treatment Act,  which would provide substantial federal funding for PFAS remediation in drinking water and groundwater, including private wells. In addition, Shaheen joined a bipartisan group of Senators in urging Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to allow state, tribal and local governments to use funds allocated through the American Rescue Plan to address contamination from PFAS, including in local water supplies. In April, the Senate passed the bipartisan Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act, which included an amendment added by Senator Shaheen to address contamination in drinking water supplies from PFAS and other contaminants.   

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