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Shaheen Statement on the EPA’s Nationwide Monitoring Data of PFAS and Lithium

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) issued the following statement after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced new findings from its Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR 5) that collects data regarding the levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) contamination in drinking water across the nation:

“No American should worry that the water coming into their home is unsafe, which is why I’m pleased the EPA is working to better track and monitor dangerous levels of PFAS and lithium in public water systems. I’ve been fighting to get PFAS out of our water for years, which is why I worked to secure funding for PFAS research and cleanup efforts in the bipartisan infrastructure law,” said Shaheen. “PFAS is a public health crisis and New Hampshire is leading the way in addressing these dangerous contaminants in our water. With the EPA’s updated monitoring system and data collection, communities across the nation can continue working to find innovative solutions to address PFAS contamination in public water systems.”

PFAS chemicals and high levels of exposure continue to threaten the health of our communities, which is why Shaheen has led action in the Senate for years on prevention, remediation and research to combat exposure and deliver long-awaited answers to Granite Staters and Americans about the possible health implications for those affected by PFAS contamination.

Water systems in New Hampshire have been testing drinking water for PFAS since 2019 when the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) adopted state Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs). Nationally, water systems in many regions of the county did not test prior to the EPA’s current comprehensive study.

Senator Shaheen leads efforts in Congress to invest in PFAS contamination research to guide our federal response to PFAS exposure and remediation of polluted sites. Recently, Shaheen introduced the PFAS Community Engagement and Transparency Act, which would increase the Department of Defense (DOD)’s transparency regarding PFAS related activities. In the Senate-passed fiscal year 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), Shaheen secured $5 million to continue and expand the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) PFAS health impact study that she established four years ago. The bill also includes language to push the DOD to address PFAS contamination and bolster accountability for PFAS-impacted communities. In March, Shaheen lauded the EPA’s announcement that it will formally propose new MCLs for some of the most prevalent PFAS in drinking water. 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 for the first of five years of funding.