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Shaheen Applauds First-Ever National Drinking Water Standard for PFAS, $1 Billion From Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Available to Help Improve Water for Disadvantaged Communities, Small Towns and Private Wells

**New Hampshire to receive $9.4 million for PFAS remediation** 

(Washington, DC) – Today, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a lead negotiator for the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, released the following statement applauding the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) first-ever national drinking water standard to protect communities from per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and the announcement that nearly $1 billion will be available from over $5 billion that Shaheen secured in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for states to help small and disadvantaged communities, as well as owners of private wells address PFAS contamination. New Hampshire is slated to receive $9,457,000.  

“No American should worry that the water coming from their tap is contaminated, and I applaud President Biden and Administrator Regan for taking a significant step forward today to better ensure our drinking water is safe for all, including Granite State families,” said Shaheen. “PFAS contamination has long been a top concern for me, and I’m proud that New Hampshire has been a leader in uncovering and responding to this widespread public health and environmental challenge. As a lead negotiator of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, I fought to secure record funding to help small and disadvantaged communities clean up their water, as well as the nearly half of New Hampshire residents who get their water supply from private wells. Today’s announcement is an important step toward better protecting the health of Granite Staters.” 

The new national drinking water regulations establish enforceable levels for several PFAS known to occur individually and as mixtures in drinking water. Five individual PFAS will have individual limits. The EPA estimates that the final rule will prevent thousands of premature deaths, tens of thousands of serious illnesses, including certain cancers and liver and heart impacts in adults and immune and developmental impacts to infants and children. 

Additional information on the announcement 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 Air National Guard Base in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, is serving as a model site for the nationwide study—of which the first report was released earlier this year. Shaheen has also worked to improve clinician guidance and protocols based on recommendations made by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) in a 2022 report. 

As a lead negotiator of water provisions in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Shaheen secured record funding to upgrade drinking water and wastewater infrastructure and address PFAS contamination, including $72 million in grants to New Hampshire for the first of five years of funding. Senator Shaheen worked to secure $10 billion to specifically address PFAS and other emerging contaminants, $5 billion of which is targeted to small and disadvantaged communities and private wells, in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Shaheen recently introduced legislation to clarify that assistance from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law may be provided for the benefit of well owners whether or not they are connected to public water systems. Previously, the EPA interpreted the statute as only allowing for assistance to private wells if it is being used to connect to public water systems. Shaheen also successfully included this clarification for fiscal year (FY) 2024 funding in appropriations legislation that was signed into law on March 9. That technical fix is reflected in today’s funding announcement.  

Shaheen recently sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture urging the Department to support the State of New Hampshire’s request to exclude payments from the PFAS Rebate Program from income taxes, ensuring Granite Staters do not have to pay more out-of-pocket costs to address drinking water contamination.  

As a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Shaheen secured a number of provisions related to PFAS in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 government funding bills, including $1 million for research into the impacts of PFAS and other contaminants of emerging concern in coastal regions and $3 million for the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) PFAS standards and research, while directing NIST to further study sources of PFAS exposure for firefighters.