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0000017a-15d9-d736-a57f-17ff8f4d0000NHPR’s ongoing coverage of water contamination at the former Pease Air Force Base and in the communities surrounding the Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics plant in Merrimack. We’ll keep you updated on day to day developments, and ask bigger questions, such as:What do scientists know about the health effects of perfluorochemicals like PFOA, PFOS and PFHxS?How are policy makers in New Hampshire responding to these water contaminants?How are scientists and policymakers communicating potential risks?How are other states responding to similar contaminations?

Shaheen, Hassan Want Local PFAS Projects Made Eligible For Pandemic Stimulus Funding

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New Hampshire’s U.S. senators are asking federal regulators to allow state and local governments to spend pandemic stimulus funds on addressing PFAS chemical contamination.

Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan joined a bipartisan group making the request to theTreasury Department this week.

They want a $350 billion-dollar portion of the American Rescue Plan made eligible to test and treat local water supplies for PFAS, and for other related projects. The industrial chemicals have been found throughout New Hampshire and most other states, and are linked to health problems

“Addressing this contamination requires significant investment and proactive efforts to remediate,” the senators’ letter says. “Ensuring states, tribes and local governments have flexibility to use ARP infrastructure funds to support their PFAS work will help combat this pervasive and ongoing public health threat that impacts so many Americans.”

The letter also emphasizes PFAS remediation in soil at farms, an issue that’s affected the dairy industry in states like Maine. The chemicals build up in fertilizer made from wastewater sludge.

New Hampshire is one of a growing number of states that have their own limits on PFAS in drinking and groundwater. Both the Trump and Biden administrations have said PFAS is a priority at the Environmental Protection Agency, but the chemicals aren’t yet federally regulated.

Annie has covered the environment, energy, climate change and the Seacoast region for NHPR since 2017. She leads the newsroom's climate reporting project, By Degrees.
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