EPA yesterday announced it would maintain a Trump-era position of not regulating toxic perchlorate in drinking water, infuriating public health and environmental advocates who have long sought federal limits on the contaminant.
EPA said it had conducted a review and concluded that a decision the agency made in 2020 to not regulate perchlorate — an ingredient of rocket fuel and fireworks tied to brain damage in infants — was based on the best available peer-reviewed science.
At the time, the agency said perchlorate was not found widely enough in drinking water or “at levels of public health concern” to require federal limits. The agency also said states and public water systems have already taken adequate steps to reduce exposure to the chemical through drinking water (Greenwire, June 18, 2020). The Biden administration announced last year it was reviewing EPA’s decision (Greenwire, Jan. 20, 2021).
Even so, studies show the toxin may be affecting millions of people through exposure to both contaminated drinking water and food. One 2016 study published in the medical journal Current Environmental Health Reports found that water systems serving 11 million people had perchlorate above detectable levels.
EPA has not regulated a new contaminant in drinking water since 1996 (Greenwire, Jan. 26, 2021).
While holding off on federal regulations on perchlorate, EPA yesterday laid out actions it plans to take in a fact sheet, including studying perchlorate levels in ambient water following firework display events, continued cleanup of contaminated sites, and continued consideration of changes to federal law around the open burning and detonation of waste explosives and propellants. The agency also pointed to funding for cleanup in the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill as supporting efforts to tackle emerging contaminants.
Read more, at: https://www.eenews.net/articles/epa-wont-regulate-rocket-fuel-in-drinking-water/