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Shaheen Welcomes Federal Initiative to Confront PFAS Contamination

(Washington, DC) — U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) issued the following statement in response to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) announcement of a cross-agency initiative to confront per and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination. PFAS includes perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), which is an emerging contaminant that has been found in drinking water systems in several southern New Hampshire towns, and was responsible for the closing of a major water supply well located at the Pease International Tradeport in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The EPA’s new efforts announced on Monday support Senator Shaheen’s bill, the Safe Drinking Water Assistance Act, which she introduced in April:

“Water contamination has profoundly impacted families in a number of New Hampshire communities. Parents shouldn’t have to live in fear over the safety of their children’s water,” said Senator Shaheen. “I’m glad the EPA is taking a step forward to help address the contamination we’re seeing in water supplies across the country, including New Hampshire, but we must do more. I will continue to work with the administration to ensure that other federal environmental and health agencies are working towards this common goal so that Granite State families, and the millions of others who live in affected communities, have access to safe water supplies.”

The EPA’s recent announcement backs Senator Shaheen’s bipartisan legislation with Senator Portman (R-OH), the Safe Drinking Water Assistance Act, which would establish a government-wide initiative to help expedite the analysis of contaminants, such as PFOA, and provide resources to states dealing with the health challenges posed by these potentially harmful materials. Additionally, Senator Shaheen’s bipartisan amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that grants the Department of Defense authorization to fund the first-ever nationwide health study on implications of perfluorinated chemicals in drinking water is expected to be signed into law by the President this month.