Shaheen helps lead a bipartisan, bicameral bill to support farmers affected by PFAS

October 21, 2022

(Washington, DC) – In a bipartisan, bicameral effort to provide lifesaving assistance to farmers affected by exposure to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) has joined U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Angus King (I-ME) to present the Relief for farmers affected by the PFAS Act. US Representatives Chellie Pingree (ME-01) and Jared Golden (ME-02) introduced complementary legislation in the House of Representatives. The legislation would authorize grants to states to provide financial assistance to affected farmers, expand surveillance and testing, address prevalent PFAS. or even help farmers move.

PFAS are “forever” man-made chemicals that are used in industry and consumer products and can cause serious health effects. PFAS contamination has prevented some farms from selling their produce, creating financial hardship for affected family farmers.

“The more we research PFAS, the more we understand how prevalent these chemicals are, and sadly, our farming community is no exception. That’s why it’s imperative that we have a strong federal response for industries and communities that have been negatively impacted through no fault of their own, so they can keep people safe and businesses running smoothly. operations”, said Senator Shaheen. “This bipartisan, bicameral proposal is a comprehensive approach to help farmers who have been hard hit by exposure to PFAS, and it addresses everything from educational programs for those affected to increased testing and remediation of water and soil. Our farmers face enough challenges and adversity due to uncontrollable changes in our climate and economy – reacting to a large and troubling issue like PFAS contamination should not be another hurdle they have to face. alone.

Specifically, the funds authorized by the Relief for farmers affected by the PFAS Act could be used for a variety of state-level purposes, including:

  • More capability for PFAS testing for soil or water sources;
  • Blood monitoring to enable individuals to make informed decisions about their health;
  • Equipment to ensure a farm remains profitable during or after known PFAS contamination;
  • Relocation of a commercial farm if the land is no longer viable;
  • Alternative cropping systems or remediation strategies;
  • Educational programs for farmers contaminated with PFAS; and
  • Research on soil and water remediation systems and the viability of these systems for farms.

The bill would also create a working group at USDA to identify other USDA programs to which PFAS contamination control should be added as an eligible activity. “This would help bring even more resources to farmers through existing programs. “In addition, the working group would provide technical assistance to states to help them coordinate their responses effectively.

Senator Shaheen is leading congressional efforts to uncover potential health effects related to PFAS contamination, respond to chemical exposure, and remediate polluted sites. Shaheen has fought for continued federal support for the PFAS Health Impact Study she established four years ago. Through his efforts, Pease serves as a model site for the national study. Like a?chief negotiator? water provisions in the bipartisan Infrastructure Act, Shaheen secured record funding to upgrade drinking water and wastewater infrastructure and address PFAS contamination, including $72 million in grants to New Hampshire announced by the Environmental Protection Agency last month.?

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