BEIJING, CHINA – Senator Maggie Hassan released the following statement today in response to reports that that the Department of Defense (DOD) successfully pressured the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to weaken its standards for cleaning up per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination in groundwater:
“I am concerned – and deeply disappointed – by reports that the Environmental Protection Agency bowed to pressure from the Department of Defense to weaken standards for cleaning up PFAS water contamination, which places the health of our servicemembers and civilians at risk. We need to act swiftly to ensure the safety of our drinking water in New Hampshire and across the country, and I will keep working with Senator Shaheen and our colleagues on both sides of the aisle to get answers from Acting Secretary of Defense Shanahan and EPA Administrator Wheeler about why the EPA has decided to substantially weaken proposed PFAS standards.”
Senator Hassan has been a leader in the fight to ensure that all Granite Staters and Americans have access to clean drinking water. In March, Senator Hassan joined her colleagues in sending a letter to Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan and EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, requesting the agencies release communications they’ve had with the White House, and with each other, regarding the establishment of federal drinking water standards for PFAS and groundwater pollution guidelines related to these chemicals. Senator Hassan also joined in introducing the bipartisan PFAS Action Act that would mandate the EPA within one year of enactment declare PFAS as hazardous substances eligible for cleanup funds under the EPA Superfund law, also known as CERCLA. Additionally, Senator Hassan recently cosponsored bipartisan legislation to better detect contamination from PFAS in drinking water and in the environment by developing advanced technologies to detect PFAS and allow for nationwide sampling of these chemicals in the environment.