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Paul Kiesel
Paul Kiesel
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California Proposes Limit for Perchlorate in Drinking Water

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Perchlorate is a toxic substance found in solid rocket fuel that has polluted many drinking wells in California and throughout the United States. California has suggested standards that are only exceeded by the State of Massachusetts.

On Monday, the State of California intends to recommend standards that would limit the levels of perchlorate found in many of the State’s drinking wells to 6 parts per billion. Perchlorate, a toxic ingredient found in solid rocket fuel, has been found in and around military installations and aerospace facilities. Perchlorate has been found to create risk to pregnant women and their developing fetuses, as well as to children. Industry interests had been lobbying for much higher levels of Perchlorate in drinking water than what the State of California is now prepared to recommend.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency earlier this year set a much higher interim cleanup goal for perchlorate — 24.5 parts per billion. But the federal agency has not yet set an enforceable standard for drinking water.

“The states are again acting in the face of inaction by federal EPA,” said Bill Walker of the Environmental Working Group, an environmental health advocacy organization. “While we would have liked to have seen California’s standard lower, and it could leave some Californians at risk, the big story is the difference between it and EPA’s. This is another strong signal to EPA that its [goal] is much too high and that they need to stop the foot-dragging and move forward with a truly protective drinking water standard.”