EPA decides against limits on drinking pollutant linked to health risks, especially in children

2020-05-15

The Environmental Protection Agency has decided not to limit perchlorate, a chemical that has long been detected in the drinking water of many Americans and linked to potential brain damage in fetuses and newborns and thyroid problems in adults, according to two agency officials briefed on the matter.

They spoke on the condition of anonymity because the decision hasn’t been announced.

The move, which comes despite the fact that the EPA faces a court order to establish a national standard for the chemical compound by the end of June, marks the latest shift in a long-running fight over whether to curb the chemical used in rocket fuel.

Under President Barack Obama, the EPA had announced in 2011 that it planned to set the first enforceable limits on perchlorate because of its potential health impacts. Both the Defense Department and military manufacturers have long resisted any restrictions on the chemical, which is also used in fireworks, munitions and other ignition devices. It naturally occurs in some areas, such as parts of the Southwest.

The Washington Post, 15 May 2020
; https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2020/05/14/epa-decides-against-limits-drinking-water-pollutant-linked-health-effects/