Shaheen Proposes Billions in New State Grants to Remediate PFAS in Drinking Water

Mar 12, 2020

Credit John K via Flickr CC

A new bill in Congress would give states $20 billion over the next 10 years to test and treat their water supplies for toxic PFAS chemicals.

New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen is a lead sponsor of the Democratic legislation, along with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York and Delaware Sen. Tom Carper.

The bill would give out billions in grants to treat public drinking water supplies – and private wells – for PFAS. It would also fund groundwater cleanup, using proposed federal standards or state limits, for PFOA and PFOS. 

The proposal says the Environmental Protection Agency should create a way to dole out funding under existing programs, according to each state’s PFAS needs.

The plan also prioritizes funding of treatment methods that can completely destroy PFAS chemicals, instead of just moving them from water into another substance.

Shaheen’s staff says they're hoping for more bipartisan backing as the bill moves through Congress. They hope it could take effect as soon as the next fiscal year. 

In New Hampshire, some towns have called strict new state limits for PFAS an unfunded mandate. Legislators have proposed a new $50-million loan fund to address that, as they seek to get the limits permanently enacted.