Shaheen Touts NH Water Provisions in Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, Federal COVID Assistance & Outdoor Recreation Investments for North Country Communities
Shaheen highlighted New Hampshire water infrastructure investments in the bipartisan infrastructure bill during a visit to a Berlin water pipeline enhancement project, discussed federal relief to bolster COVID-19 response efforts at the White Mountain Community Health Center & visited AMC Camp Dodge to discuss New Hampshire’s vital outdoor recreation economy.
(Manchester, NH) – This afternoon, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) visited Berlin’s Infiltration and Inflow Reduction Project amid its construction and highlighted how the historic bipartisan infrastructure deal that cleared the Senate earlier this month would support critical projects like this throughout New Hampshire. Shaheen was a key negotiator around provisions on water infrastructure. The Infiltration and Inflow Reduction Project aims to reduce combined sewer overflows that can lead to flooding and facility damage at the city’s Watson Street Pump Station. During the event, Shaheen was joined by state, local and project officials, including Mayor Paul Grenier.
“Today’s visit to Berlin highlighted how an effective and reliable water infrastructure system is key to public health and economic vitality. Unfortunately, many Granite State communities face inadequate and aging water infrastructure, as well as pollution of water supplies by dangerous substances like PFAS,” said Shaheen. “That’s why I fought to secure a historic investment of billions of dollars to modernize water infrastructure in the bipartisan infrastructure legislation that passed the Senate. I appreciate the feedback I received this afternoon on the importance of this project in Berlin and will continue to work to ensure communities have the water infrastructure they need.”
Through her leadership in negotiations around the bipartisan infrastructure deal, Shaheen helped secure $55 billion to upgrade and replace water infrastructure in New Hampshire and across the country – the largest investment in safe drinking water in America’s history. This includes $10 billion to address per- and polyfluoralkyl substances (PFAS) contamination and $15 billion to replace lead service lines, which have been significant issues impacting Granite State communities. The infrastructure package also includes Shaheen’s bipartisan legislation to fix to the Contribution-in-Aid of Construction (CIAC) tax issue, which arose after the Trump administration reinstated the tax in the 2017 tax bill. This tax has resulted in at least $1.15 million in new federal taxes for water infrastructure projects in Southern New Hampshire.
Earlier in North Conway, Shaheen visited White Mountain Community Health Center to discuss American Rescue Plan funding she announced last month to boost the facility’s response to the spread of COVID-19 and enhance health care services in the North Country. Senator Shaheen has been a strong advocate for ensuring facilities like White Mountain that cater to underserved communities are eligible for emergency COVID-19 funding.
“I want to thank the dedicated health care providers and staff at White Mountain Community Health Center for their work providing essential health services to North Country residents during the pandemic. As we’ve seen, this public health crisis is not over as the dangerous and highly-contagious Delta variant continues to spread in our communities,” said Shaheen. “That’s why securing funding through the American Rescue Plan to help the facility combat COVID-19 and provide health care services to patients was a top priority for me. I’ll continue to support our community health centers as we get to the other side of this crisis.”
Last year, Shaheen sent a letter to Senate leadership underscoring the role community health centers have played in New Hampshire’s response to the pandemic and calling for emergency funding for community health centers to be made flexible so that look-alike facilities, like White Mountain Community Health Center, can also qualify for financial support. The facility received these funds for the first time through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Health Center Program.
Later, Shaheen visited the Appalachian Mountain Club’s (AMC) Camp Dodge Trails Center in Green’s Grant and celebrated the one year anniversary of the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA). Shaheen cosponsored the bipartisan GAOA that was signed into law last year to fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and provide up to $9.5 billion to address deferred maintenance needs on public lands. During the event, Shaheen toured the newly renovated facility, highlighted the important work of the AMC’s White Mountain Volunteer Trail crews and underscored the impact that the fully-funded LWCF will have on trails and natural sites in New Hampshire and across the nation.
“I was thrilled to visit Camp Dodge this afternoon to commemorate AMC Trail Volunteers’ stewardship of our beautiful trails and celebrate the one-year anniversary of the enactment of the Great American Outdoors Act, which I proudly cosponsored,” said Shaheen. “Thanks to this historic legislation, New Hampshire projects found throughout the state, including here in the White Mountains, have critical funding to address serious maintenance backlogs, strengthen conservation and ensure visitors can enjoy these lands in the years to come. I’ll continue to champion investments in outdoor recreation and conservation.”
Shaheen has led efforts to help secure full funding and permanent authorization for the LWCF, which has helped protect more than 2.5 million acres of land and supported tens of thousands of state and local outdoor recreation projects throughout the nation. Shaheen’s bipartisan bill to permanently reauthorize the LWCF was included in legislation that was signed into law in 2019. Shaheen also cosponsored the Restore Our Parks Act, bipartisan legislation included in the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) that addresses the $20 billion backlog in long delayed maintenance projects on public lands.