Shaheen Responds to Reports that Trump Administration Political Officials Overruled Career Scientists on Critical PFAS Safety Assessment

January 14, 2021

Shaheen has led efforts in Congress to combat PFAS exposure & established the first-ever PFAS health impact study in the fiscal year 2018 NDAA.

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) issued the following statement in response to reports that Trump administration political officials at the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) overrode EPA career scientists’ toxicity assessment on perfluorobutane sulfonic acid (PFBS), which is a type of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS). Toxicity assessments impact development of water standards related to remediation, drinking water limits and other criteria.

“The Trump administration’s utter failure to take the threat of PFAS contamination seriously is shameful and a disservice to New Hampshire families and millions more throughout the nation who have been impacted by contaminated water supplies,” said Shaheen. “This is another instance of President Trump putting political expediency ahead of the well-being of American families, who in regions across the country, can’t trust the safety of the water coming out of their tap. I’ve made combating PFAS exposure a priority in Congress, and despite push back from this administration, have advanced important efforts to research, prevent and clean up PFAS contamination. I’ll continue to build on these efforts and will make this a top priority under the next administration, where New Hampshire families will have responsible leadership that puts health and safety ahead of politics.”

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. Shaheen has consistently secured and boosted federal funding for the PFAS health impact study that she worked to establish four years ago. Because of her efforts, Pease is serving as a model site for the nationwide study. The study at Pease is actively seeking participants. Shaheen added numerous provisions to the fiscal year (FY) 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that recently became law, include a provision based on her standalone legislation to authorize a comprehensive study of the personal protective equipment worn by firefighters to determine the identity and concentration of PFAS, as well as firefighters’ risk of exposure to these harmful chemicals from the gear. The FY21 NDAA also establishes a federal grant program and authorizes $2.5 million to advance the development of safe alternatives to PFAS chemicals in personal protective equipment. Shaheen also boosted funding for the health impact study for the year to $15 million.