Shaheen and EPA Administrator Cash Discuss Ongoing Federal Action to Designate PFAS Contamination as Hazardous and Step Up Mitigation Efforts

September 16, 2022

During the event, Shaheen and Cash announced $72 million in grants to NH to improve water infrastructure and address PFAS contamination in the first five-year allocation of funding through the bipartisan infrastructure law, that Shaheen negotiated.

Shaheen and EPA Region 1 Administrator Dr. David Cash at the Pease Airfield Interim Mitigation System earlier today.

(Portsmouth, NH) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator for Region 1, Dr. David Cash, toured a processing facility for water at Pease International Tradeport this afternoon to discuss the EPA’s proposal to designate two of the most prevalent per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) – PFOS and PFOA – as hazardous substances under CERCLA (Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act). PFAS chemicals have been linked to adverse health effects and have been found at high levels in drinking water sources at the former airbase. The new EPA proposal would trigger increased reporting and remediation efforts to protect public health and encourage better waste management.

During their visit, Shaheen and Cash toured the Interim Airfield Mitigation System (AIMS) at Pease, where they were given a tour of the pump and treatment system which is installed around Haven Well to remove water from the aquifer, treat it and reinject it into the aquifer. Shaheen and Cash were joined by local officials and advocates including Portsmouth Mayor Deaglan McEachern, Portsmouth City Manager Karen Conard, Testing for Pease co-founder Andrea Amico and other stakeholders local.

“I am pleased that Administrator Cash is in Portsmouth not only to see the mitigation efforts to clean up these dangerous chemicals, but also to speak with our local officials and advocates who have worked hard for many years to make this happen. a priority in our communities. Too many parents have spent sleepless nights wondering about the adverse health effects of drinking tap water on their children, and have fought tooth and nail for accountability, transparency and, above all, measures to combat PFAS. I am pleased that the Biden administration is making this a real priority, and particularly encouraged by its proposal to designate PFOA and PFOS as hazardous substances under the law, which would trigger meaningful action to eliminate these substances from our communities.” , said Shaheen. “I look forward to working with Administrator Cash and the Biden administration to advance efforts to that end.”

“Under Biden’s presidency, the EPA delivered on its commitment to focus on PFAS chemicals and take meaningful action to protect public health and our shared environment from chemicals ‘forever.’ Just last week, the EPA proposed designating two of the most widely used PFAS — PFOA and PFOS — as “hazardous substances” under the Superfund Act that governs how we clean up contamination in our communities. This regulation would increase transparency around releases of these harmful chemicals and help hold polluters accountable for cleaning up their contamination. EPA welcomes comments on this proposal, and we look forward to hearing from all interested groups and individuals so that we can ensure that any final rule is both fair and effective. Protecting human health is always the EPA’s top priority.” said U.S. Environmental Protection Agency New England Regional Administrator David W. Cash.

“EPA’s recent proposal to designate PFOA and PFOS as hazardous substances is an important step toward holding polluters accountable for decades of contamination. For too long, communities across the country have been exposed to a mixture of PFAS through no fault of their own and with limited options to hold polluters accountable Communities have suffered in many ways from continued exposure to PFAS and often bear the enormous costs associated with PFAS contamination We need of continued leadership and bold action to fight PFAS as a class by stopping exposure, making polluters pay, and helping those harmed by PFAS exposure,” said Andrea Amico, co-founder of Testing for Pease. “I applaud the EPA’s efforts to designate PFOA and PFOS as hazardous substances. And I am grateful for Senator Shaheen’s steadfast leadership in Congress to help communities in New Hampshire and across the country fight the widespread contamination of PFAS. »

Senator Shaheen is leading congressional efforts to uncover potential health effects related to PFAS contamination, respond to chemical exposure, and remediate polluted sites. Shaheen fought for continued federal support for the PFAS Health Impact Study that she established Four years ago. Due to its efforts, Pease serves as a model site for the national study. As lead negotiator of water provisions in the bipartisan Infrastructure Act, Shaheen secured record funding to upgrade drinking water and wastewater infrastructure and address PFAS contamination, including $72 million in New Hampshire grants announced by the EPA earlier today.

Last week, Shaheen sent a letter requesting updates on the implementation of the recommendations outlined in the recent report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) on PFAS chemicals at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). Shaheen has long worked to seek guidance from clinicians on testing and protocols, including introducing the PFAS Health Impacts Physicians Training Act, bipartisan legislation that would establish a grant scheme within the Ministry of Health. Health and Social Services to fund the creation of training materials for physicians. on the health effects of PFAS and best practices for the management of patients who have been exposed to PFAS. Key provisions of Shaheen’s legislation have been included in the FY2021 Government Funding Legislation which has been enacted. Shaheen is a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

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