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Bush EPA decides there is no need to rid public drinking water of toxic rocket fuel ingredient

On September 21, the Bush EPA decided that 395 sites in 35 states which show high enough levels of toxic contamination to interfere with human thyroid function and pose developmental risk for babies and fetuses, need not be cleaned up.  The Associated Press obtained a copy of the decision and publicized it, although the EPA report has not been made public as of yet.

The Defense Department used perchlorate for decades in missile testing and aerospaced activities, and this is the primary cause of most perchlorate toxicity.  The Department contends that fireworks, road flares and fertilizer are also causes.  The problem is especially endemic to California and to the Colorado River--source of drinking water for 20 million people.  It has been found to contaminate lettuce and other crops.  The EPA conceded that "percholate in drinking water presents some degree of risk..." but contends the risk does not warrant forcing the Defense Department to undertake a meaningful cleanup.

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