WASHINGTON – Senator Maggie Hassan participated in a briefing hosted by the Green Science Policy Institute today, where she highlighted the importance of protecting drinking water from contaminants such as PFAS in New Hampshire and across the country and the critical role that clean drinking water plays in helping people lead healthy, productive lives.
The briefing included additional speakers who provided updates on recent science and policy developments around highly fluorinated chemicals such as PFAS.
“Clean drinking water is critical for our citizens to lead healthy lives, and it is at the heart of economic development, healthy families, and vibrant communities in New Hampshire and across the country,” Senator Hassan said. “In order to ensure that all families have access to safe drinking water, we must continue to address concerns around emerging contaminants such as PFAS that have been found in drinking water in communities across New Hampshire. I am grateful for Granite Staters’ advocacy efforts and their dedication to fight for the health and well-being of their friends and neighbors. I will continue working to support their efforts and to ensure that no Granite Stater or American has to question the safety or quality of their drinking water.”
Senator Hassan also discussed efforts underway in the Senate to address concerns around emerging contaminants in drinking water, including legislation she cosponsored that requires the EPA to create federal safety guidelines for PFAS and to establish maximum contaminant levels for certain chemicals to help clarify the safety and quality of drinking water from public water systems throughout the country. The Senator also cosponsored the Safe Drinking Water Assistance Act, which creates an interagency task force to improve federal coordination on emerging contaminants and directs the Office of Science and Technology Policy to develop a federal research strategy to improve identification, analysis, and treatment methods for contaminants. Senator Hassan also helped secure funding for the first nationwide PFAS water contamination study in the bipartisan omnibus funding bill that passed earlier this year, and joined the Congressional Delegation in sending a letter to ATSDR urging them to include Pease in the nationwide health study and exposure assessment.
As Governor of New Hampshire, Senator Hassan worked with state agencies, federal partners, and residents in the area to make blood tests available to everyone potentially exposed to PFAS at the former Pease Air Force Base in Portsmouth, as well as to raise awareness about the health risks of these emerging contaminants. Furthermore, Senator Hassan formed the Governor's Task Force on the Seacoast Cancer Cluster to help create an organized response to the health and environmental concerns that the Seacoast pediatric cancer cluster has raised.