May 25, 2018 - On May 23rd , the Senate Armed Services Committee passed the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Committee Member Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), helped secure authorization of $10 million for the second year of the first-ever nationwide PFAS health impact study, which was established in the FY 2018 NDAA; and inclusion of bipartisan legislation introduced by Shaheen and Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD), the PFAS Registry Act (S. 2719), to create a national database for service members and veterans experiencing health problems potentially due to exposure to PFAS chemicals. 

Senator Shaheen helped to lead efforts in Congress to uncover the potential health impact of emerging contaminants in water supplies, and in the 2018 NDAA,  established the first-ever nationwide health study on the impacts of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in drinking water, as well as funding for the study in the government funding bill that was signed into law in March.

Specific language to streamline the process of transferring funds from the Department of Defense to the Department of Health and Human Services, and from there, to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and finally to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, which is carrying out the study, was also included in the bill.

Additionally, the bipartisan legislation introduced by Sen. Shaheen and Rounds to create a national database for service members and veterans experiencing health problems potentially due to PFAS exposure was successfully added as an amendment to the bill. This is a bipartisan effort that would allow military personnel and veterans to receive updates on recent scientific developments on the effects of PFAS exposure and information on what resources may be available to address their health concerns.

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This Week in Washington is an online news portal from the Water Environment Federation that provides updates on the latest legislative and regulatory developments that affect the water and wastewater communities. It provides concise reports of related bills, regulations, legal decisions, congressional hearings, and other federal government actions, following key issues from introduction to final determination.

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This Week in Washington is compiled by the WEF Government Affairs department. Please contact us with any questions or comments.

Claudio Ternieden
Senior Director of Government Affairs & Strategic Partnerships

Steve Dye
Legislative Director

Amy Kathman
Government Affairs Specialist