Shaheen Urges EPA to Show Leadership & Protect NH Families from PFOA & PFOS Contamination

January 29, 2019

***Shaheen Announces Andrea Amico, Co-Founder of Testing for Pease, as State of the Union Guest to Raise Awareness for Combating Chemical Exposure**

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) issued the following statement in response to Politico’s report that the Trump administration’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will not set a drinking water limit for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), which have been linked to a variety of adverse health implications, including various forms of cancer. These types of chemicals, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), have emerged as a widespread contaminant in drinking water sources in several southern New Hampshire towns and were responsible for the closing of a major water supply well located at the former Pease Air Force Base in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. 

Senator Shaheen has led efforts in Congress to uncover the potential health effects related to PFAS contamination. Senator Shaheen successfully established the first-ever nationwide health study on the impacts of PFAS substances in drinking water. Because of Shaheen’s efforts, Pease will serve as the model site for the nationwide PFAS health study. Andrea Amico, a founder of the community activist group Testing for Pease, has been an instrumental advocate in the community to demand accountability and transparency surrounding PFAS-contamination. Senator Shaheen will bring Andrea Amico as her guest to the President’s State of the Union address on Tuesday, February 5th to raise awareness for PFAS water contamination.

“It’s imperative that the EPA show leadership and help protect New Hampshire families and Americans throughout the nation from these harmful materials,” said Shaheen. “Ensuring Granite Staters have access to safe and clean drinking water has been, and remains, one of my top concerns. Holding agencies responsible and calling for more transparency has been a collaborative effort in New Hampshire, and I’m grateful for the continued advocacy of our community partners like Testing for Pease. Andrea has been a stalwart leader on this issue on behalf of Granite State families, and I’m happy to announce she’ll be my guest for the State of the Union address where together we’ll raise awareness for preventing and ending PFAS exposure in our communities.” 

In November, Shaheen helped present Amico with a national public service award from the EPA for Amico’s advocacy to combat PFAS contamination in the Granite State.  

Senator Shaheen has consistently fought for greater transparency and accountability surrounding PFAS contamination, and has prioritized legislation to keep drinking water supplies clean. She previously called on the EPA to respond to questions about public disclosure of PFAS in drinking water after it was reported that the agency was weakening chemical safety regulations that could affect public information on the risks of PFAS. In May, Shaheen led the New Hampshire congressional delegation in a letter to the Trump administration calling for the immediate release of a health study on the impacts of PFOA and PFOS that the administration tried to conceal because it would pose a “public relations nightmare.” Shaheen introduced bipartisan legislation in the last Congress with Senator Rob Portman (R-OH)—the Safe Drinking Water Assistance Act— that would improve federal efforts to identify the public health effects of emerging contaminants such as PFAS and 1,4-dioxane.