Shaheen Amendment Could Result in Nationwide Health Study on Water Contamination

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On November 8, the Senate and House released a compromise FY 2018 Defense authorization bill, which is one step of a multi-step process to fund the Department of Defense (DoD) beyond December 8th – the end of the current Continuing Resolution (CR). An amendment by Sen. Shaheen (D-NH) that was accepted as part of the compromise would direct DoD to conduct a nationwide health study on the implications of perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) in drinking water. Such a study would be a significant undertaking, and would likely take several years.

This bill only outlines defense policy and how defense funding may be spent. The Senate and House Appropriations Committees still need to come to an agreement on the detailed spending bill before any of the FY 2018 funds can be spent. Given other legislative priorities in Congress, it’s difficult to say whether we will see a series of Continuing Resolutions (CRs) or an omnibus funding bill. So there is a long ways to go before the nationwide health study might actually funded and the study actually starts.