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Senator Hassan Statement on Reports that Trump Administration Has Weakened Safety Standards for PFAS Over Objection of Scientists

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan released a statement following reports that the Trump administration overruled scientists and weakened safety standards for a certain class of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Specifically, Trump appointees at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) changed a safety assessment for PFBS, a chemical that has been linked to thyroid, kidney and reproductive problems at very low levels of exposure, that will make it easier for state and federal regulators to set lower clean up and drinking water standards for this dangerous chemical.


“On their way out the door, the outgoing administration is once again overruling scientists to weaken safety standards for dangerous PFAS chemicals that have contaminated the drinking water of families across New Hampshire. The administration’s latest effort to undermine public health is an affront to every family who has raised their voice to speak out about the health impacts of PFAS chemicals, and I urge the administration to reverse course and listen to the career scientists who have raised concerns about these new standards. If the current administration does not heed these calls, the incoming Biden administration must immediately work to undo the damage inflicted by the current administration in order to help ensure safe, clean drinking water for Granite Staters.”


Senator Hassan has long fought to ensure that all Granite Staters and Americans have access to clean drinking water and worked to secure $5 million for the EPA to clean up, work on regulations for, research, and address PFAS in the government funding bill that Senator Hassan helped negotiate and pass into law. The government funding bill also includes $15 million for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s nationwide PFAS study. Senator Hassan has also spoken out against the EPA for releasing a PFAS Action Plan that fails to set an enforceable drinking water standard, also known as a Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL), for PFOA and PFOS contaminants. In 2019, Senator Hassan joined colleagues in reintroducing the bipartisan PFAS Accountability Act in the Senate, which would hold federal agencies accountable for addressing PFAS contamination at military bases across the country. Additionally, in 2018, Senator Hassan participated in the first-ever Senate hearing on contamination of PFAS in drinking water.