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Perchlorate in the News

July 27, 2011
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GAO report criticizes EPA’s Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring program

WASHINGTON — A report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) criticizes the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) implementation of requirements for determining whether additional drinking water contaminants warrant regulation.

In testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works on July 12, National Resources and Environment Director David C. Tremble stated that EPA’s Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring program lacked “consistency and accountability.”

“Under 1996 amendments to the Safe Drinking Water Act, every five years EPA is to determine for at least five contaminants whether regulation is warranted, considering those that present the greatest public health concern,” Tremble said. “EPA issued final regulatory determinations in 2003 and 2008 on a total of 20 contaminants, deciding in each case not to regulate. In fact, EPA did not recommend any new contaminants for regulation until February 2011, when it reversed its controversial 2008 preliminary decision to not regulate perchlorate, an ingredient in rocket fuel and other products.”

To read the full report, click here.

EPA tests for perchlorate contamination at private residence

SAN FRANCISCO — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has begun collecting surface and subsurface soil samples to test for perchlorate contamination at the home of the former owner/operator of Mojave Pytrotechnics Inc., a defunct fireworks manufacturing company that operated in Barstow, California, according to a press release.

After receiving information indicating perchlorate had been buried on the property, EPA discovered a white, solid substance in a layer just below the ground surface that was later found to contain perchlorate.

The residence is near a private drinking water well that was recently discovered to be contaminated with perchlorate, the release stated.

One of EPA’s goals in this investigation will be to determine whether the site might be a source for perchlorate contamination in the groundwater.

“EPA will work with the City of Barstow and the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board to determine how much perchlorate is at this location,” said Jane Diamond, director of the Superfund Division in EPA’s Pacific Southwest regional office. “Cleanup of contamination at the Poplar Street Site will be based on the outcomes of the March sampling. We expect to have more information by the end of May.”

To read the entire article, click here.

Water Research Foundation to study perchlorate treatment technologies, regulations

DENVER — The Water Research Foundation (WaterRF) announced that it is funding a special project to assess the current state of science related to perchlorate treatment technologies and regulations in the U.S., according to a press release.

The announcement was made after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) made known its intentions to develop a regulation for perchlorate in drinking water.

Perchlorate contamination is becoming a widespread concern as sources of such contamination continue to be identified and more sensitive analytical methods are developed that can detect this compound in soil, groundwater and surface water, the release stated.

Titled “State of Science on Perchlorate Treatment Technologies and Regulations,” WaterRF’s Rapid Response Project will be conducted by Dr. Geno Lehman, P.E. and Dr. Arun Subramani, both from the MWH Americas, Inc.

The study is scheduled to be completed in April 2011.

“It is crucial that EPA’s new regulations pertaining to perchlorate be based on sound science,” said Rob Renner, executive director of WaterRF. “The research we are initiating will help establish a solid benchmark of the current state of the science and existing regulations from which EPA and other interested parties can make informed decisions.”

To read the entire article, click here.

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