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Publication date: Mar. 19, 2003


A key chemical in rocket fuel, perchlorate, is contaminating water and soil throughout the US, researchers have found in the past few years. Some studies show harmful effects to people at very low doses. Environmental Working Group has pulled together a detailed roster of the known contaminated sites, which can affect drinking water, groundwater, and soils in 43 states. EWG, Bill Walker, 510-444-0973.

Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-CA, introduced a bill (S. 502) on March 3, 2003, that calls for EPA to establish a perchlorate drinking water standard by July 1, 2004, 2-4 years ahead of EPA's target. The bill has not advanced out of committee, but it may accelerate EPA's efforts. Find Boxer's bill on Thomas.

Some critics say the Bush administration will slow down EPA's efforts by asking the National Academy of Sciences to study the issue, according to a March 14, 2003, Wall Street Journal article. NAS said it had not yet received the request. NAS: Bill Kearney, 202-334-2138.

EPA background.

Last revised January 22, 2013

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