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Shaheen Urges Biden Administration to Prioritize Efforts to Combat PFAS Contamination

(Washington, DC) — U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) led a letter with 35 Senators to President Biden urging the Biden administration to include funding in the upcoming budget request to more comprehensively address PFAS contamination. Specifically, the letter asks for funding dedicated to close gaps in data and research, support ongoing testing and cleanup efforts, and support regulations to better protect the public and environment from PFAS contamination.

In addition to Shaheen, U.S. Senators Baldwin (D-WI), Bennet (D-CO), Blumenthal (D-CT), Booker (D-NJ), Brown (D-OH), Cardin (D-MD), Carper (D-DE), Casey (D-PA), Cortez Masto (D-NV), Durbin (D-IL), Gillibrand (D-NY), Heinrich (D-NM), Hassan (D-NH), Hickenlooper (D-CO), Hirono (D-HI), Kelly (D-AZ), King (I-ME), Klobuchar (D-MN), Luján (D-NM), Manchin (D-WV), Markey (D-MA), Murphy (D-CT), Padilla (D-CA), Peters (D-MI), Reed (D-RI), Rosen (D-NV), Sanders (I-VT), Schatz (D-CA), Sinema (I-AZ), Stabenow (D-MI), Van Hollen (D-MD), Warren (D-MA), Welch (D-VT), Whitehouse (D-RI) and Wyden (D-OR) also signed onto the letter.

“The prevalence of PFAS combined with the adverse health impacts associated with exposure—including developmental effects, changes in liver, immune and thyroid function and increased risk of some cancers—requires a comprehensive approach. Specifically, we ask that your budget request include dedicated funding to close gaps in data and research to better inform responses and drive innovation. Second, we urge prioritization of regulatory work necessary to enhance protections for public health and the environment. Finally, we encourage robust funding to support ongoing testing and cleanup of existing contamination nationwide,” the Senators wrote.

Full text of the letter is available here.

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 lead negotiator of water provisions in the bipartisan infrastructure law, Shaheen secured record-level funding to upgrade drinking water and wastewater infrastructure and address PFAS contamination, including $72 million in grants to New Hampshire announced by the Environmental Protection Agency last fall. In the FY23 government funding law that Shaheen helped write, she helped secure support for the EPA to address treatment solutions, conduct research and undertake regulatory actions outlined in the PFAS Strategic Roadmap. Shaheen also helped secure more than $224 million in funding for PFAS investigation, testing, remediation and disposal on and around U.S. military installations. The law will provide more than $35 million for aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) removal and remediation.