U.S. Environmental Protection Agency New England Regional Administrator Alexandra Dunn presented Portsmouth resident Andrea Amico with the agency’s national “Citizen’s Excellence in Community Involvement Award” for her advocacy around critical local environmental issues. For four years, Amico has worked to raise awareness about the presence of a group of man-made chemicals known as PFAS in well water at Pease Air Force Base in Portsmouth and at various cleanup sites in the Seacoast region.
“Andrea Amico is a true champion for the environment, clean water and her community,” says EPA New England Regional Administrator Alexandra Dunn. “Ms. Amico’s tireless work to raise awareness about and advocate for solutions on PFAS contamination is highly commendable and deserving of this prestigious award.”
Since 2014, Amico has worked closely with EPA, the NH Department of Environmental Services, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, and various federal, state and local elected officials to effectively address the challenging issue of “emerging contaminants” like PFAS in well water at the Pease Air Force Base. Historic firefighting and training activities by the U.S. Air Force resulted in contamination of public and private water supply wells by PFAS at levels above EPA’s Health Advisory. There is evidence that exposure to PFAS can lead to adverse human health effects, and EPA is currently taking a series of actions to identify solutions to address PFAS in the environment.
Amico has also worked to raise awareness about the presence of PFAS at EPA-led Superfund sites and state-led site cleanups on the Seacoast. In 2015, she co-founded the Testing For Pease community group along with two other mothers from the daycares on Pease. This year, Amico served as a panelist at EPA’s community forum on PFAS issues in Exeter and testified before the U.S. Senate’s Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee.
EPA’s Citizen Excellence in Community Involvement Award is a national award given by the agency to recognize an individual or community group working with one of EPA’s Office of Land and Emergency Management Waste Programs for outstanding achievements in the field of environmental protection. These waste programs include Superfund, Superfund Enforcement, Brownfields, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, Underground Storage Tanks, and Federal Facilities.