Shaheen Secures Funding for First-Ever Nationwide PFC Water Contamination Study in Omnibus Government Spending Bill
**Shaheen spearheaded efforts in Congress to establish the study in the FY 2018 National Defense Authorization Act, which was signed into law by the President last year. **
(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations and Armed Services Committees, procured $7 million to fund the first-ever nationwide health study on the impact of perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) in drinking water. The funding is included in the bipartisan legislation unveiled today to fund the federal government for fiscal year 2018, which also directs the Defense Department to report on the extent of the PFC contamination in drinking water, plans for community notification and procedures for timely remediation.
“New Hampshire families have gone too long without answers about the health impact of emerging contaminants in their water supplies, and how it could affect their children and loved ones, which is why securing the funding to move this study forward has been a top priority,” said Shaheen. “It is completely unacceptable that parents in our community, and those in affected communities across the nation, have to worry about the safety of their children’s drinking water because of this contamination. I’m pleased by the bipartisan support for this study. Going forward, I’ll continue to advocate for New Hampshire communities to be included in the health study so that Granite State families can have the peace of mind that they deserve.”
The health impact study was established by Shaheen’s legislation in the Fiscal Year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act, signed into law by the President in December. The results of the health study would be particularly important for New Hampshire communities, several of which have found PFC contaminants in their water supplies. Senator Shaheen led the New Hampshire delegation in a letter to the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), requesting that Pease International Tradeport in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, be included in the study. Senator Shaheen has also introduced the Safe Drinking Water Assistance Act, bipartisan legislation that will help expedite the analysis of contaminants, such as perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), and provide resources to states dealing with the health challenges posed by these potentially harmful materials. As the lead Democrat on the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Senate Appropriations Subcommittee, Shaheen included language from the Safe Drinking Water Assistance Act in the subcommittee’s annual appropriations bill to identify research gaps to address the potential health implications associated with exposure to emerging contaminants.