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Shaheen, Peters & Moran Announce Bipartisan Legislation to Strengthen, Expand Federal Research on PFAS Contamination

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Gary Peters (MI) and Jerry Moran (R-KS) introduced bipartisan legislation to help advance the federal government’s understanding of toxic per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and provide needed information to help better inform plans to effectively address PFAS contamination – which has impacted communities across the country. 

“PFAS chemicals have contaminated our water supplies and are linked to serious health concerns – an alarming reality that Granite Staters are unfortunately all too familiar with. More research is needed to understand the full scope of the impact of these toxic chemicals,” said Shaheen. “I’m proud to help introduce this bipartisan legislation to strengthen federal research on PFAS chemicals and better inform policies to respond to and prevent contamination. Addressing PFAS chemicals has consistently been a top priority of mine, and I remain committed to ensuring we understand the full threat posed by PFAS to our public health and environment.” 

The Federal PFAS Research Evaluation Act would direct the Director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) to enter into an agreement with the National Academies to study and report on a federal research agenda that would advance the understanding of PFAS substances. The bill would result in four nonpartisan, consensus reports identifying the research needed to understand human exposure and toxicity estimations of PFAS, and identify management and treatment options for PFAS contamination. 

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. Shaheen has fought to secure consistent federal support for the PFAS health impact study that she established four years ago. Because of her efforts, Pease is serving as a model site for the nationwide study. As a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, she successfully secured the authorization of an additional $20 million for the PFAS health impact study in the fiscal year (FY) 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) approved by the Committee. She has also fought for additional public disclosures of results of drinking and ground water testing, as well as improved guidance for spill prevention and mitigation of aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF). In the FY2020 NDAA, Shaheen worked to include the bipartisan Safe Drinking Water Assistance Act, which expedites analysis of water contaminants like PFAS, provides support and resources to states dealing with the health challenges posed by these potentially harmful materials and establishes a national strategy to coordinate the federal response to emerging contaminants. 

Shaheen has also championed legislation, the PFAS Testing and Treatment Act, which helped lay groundwork for negotiations on PFAS provisions in the bipartisan infrastructure law. As a lead negotiator of the water provisions in the bipartisan infrastructure law, Shaheen successfully secured $10 billion to address PFAS contamination around the country. Shaheen also announced $1 billion in available grant funding for states to apply for, which was made available through the bipartisan infrastructure law. She also introduced legislation with Senator Padilla to limit air pollution from toxic PFAS chemicals. Last year, Shaheen announced new legislation to clean up PFAS at military installations with the highest levels of contamination.