Shaheen Statement Following Meeting with Acting Secretary of Defense Shanahan

June 11, 2019

**Meeting held in Senator Shaheen’s office to discuss expected nomination of Acting Secretary Shanahan to serve as Secretary of Defense** 

(Washington, DC)—This evening, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, welcomed Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan to her office to discuss his expected nomination to serve as Secretary of Defense. Following their discussion, Senator Shaheen delivered the following statement: 

“I appreciated the opportunity to have a candid conversation with Acting Secretary Shanahan on a range of issues that are of utmost importance to New Hampshire and our national security,” said Shaheen. “I stressed the indispensable role of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and its workforce, and encouraged Acting Secretary Shanahan to visit the Shipyard. We also talked of the importance of the National Guard’s tanker mission at the Pease Air National Guard Base. 

“I strongly emphasized the urgent need for the Department of Defense to be an ally in enforcing stringent water contamination standards and in leading cleanup efforts at military facilities. Families in New Hampshire need assurance that the federal government is consistently on their side in addressing water contamination from PFAS chemicals. I still have many outstanding questions regarding Secretary Shanahan’s nomination; chief among them is how he will resist political interference and deliver hard truths when necessary to the President.”

Senator Shaheen has expressed concern regarding reports that the Department of Defense (DOD) pressed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) into lowering proposed cleanup standards for groundwater pollution caused by per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). In March, Shaheen sent a letter to the DOD and EPA, requesting that the department and agency release communications they’ve had with the White House, and with each other, regarding the establishment of federal drinking water standards for PFAS and groundwater pollution guidelines related to these chemicals.