2002 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 13 May 2002 18:06:27 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] CSWAB Asks WDNR to Set Health Standard for Perchlorates
[POSTED BY Laura Olah (olah@speagle.com)]

Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger
E12629 Weigand?s Bay South - Merrimac, WI  53561
Phone (608) 643-3124 - Fax (608) 643-0005
Email: info@cswab.com - Website: www.cswab.com

For Immediate Release

For more information, contact:
Laura Olah Executive Director  (608)643-3124

May 10, 2002

CSWAB Asks WDNR to Set Health Standard for Perchlorates Groundwater at 
Military Sites Should be Tested

MERRIMAC ? A new report released today by Citizens for Safe Water
Around Badger calls on the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to 
set and enforce health-based standards for perchlorate ? a toxic 
chemical that is showing up in drinking water supplies across the 

Elevated concentrations of perchlorate have recently been detected in
both surface water and groundwater in several western states,
particularly California, Nevada, and Utah.  Perchlorate contamination
has also been found in Arizona, Texas, New York, Maryland, and
Arkansas. Ammonium perchlorate dissolves as easily as table salt and the 
resulting anion is stable and can persist for decades in the 
environment; it moves easily through both groundwater and surface water.

Perchlorate disrupts the function of the thyroid gland.  In adults,
the thyroid helps to regulate metabolism; changes in thyroid hormone
levels may result in thyroid gland tumors.   In children, the thyroid 
also plays a major role in proper development and may harm the fetus and 
newborn and result in changes in behavior, delayed development, and 
decreased learning capability.

One major source of contamination is the manufacture or improper
disposal of ammonium perchlorate that is used as the primary component
in solid propellant for rockets, missiles, and fireworks.  According
to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, potential sources of
perchlorate releases also include explosives manufacturing, propellant
testing and disposal, rocket manufacturing, rocket research and
testing, firing ranges, and propellant handling.

In 1999, EPA first required drinking water monitoring for perchlorate
under the Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR).  In
accordance with the UCMR, the EPA has required perchlorate testing for
approximately 80 public water supply systems in Wisconsin.  Of these,
60 are large systems serving more than 10,000 people; the remaining 20
are smaller systems.  This required testing does not, however, extend to 
remediation sites regulated by the WDNR.

Unlike many other states, monitoring for perchlorates has not been
done at any military sites in Wisconsin including Fort McCoy, Volk
Field/Hardwood Bombing Range, and Badger Army Ammunition Plant.  At
Badger, the Army maintains that environmental testing for perchlorates
is not warranted as there are no records of its manufacture and use at
the facility.  Lacking affirmative evidence from the Army that
perchlorates were used or disposed of at Badger, the WDNR has not
required perchlorate sampling.  CSWAB?s investigation documents,
however, that perchlorate contamination has been found at other bases
when the military was sure perchlorate had never been used.

CSWAB believes comprehensive testing is in the best interest of nearby
families that rely on groundwater for their drinking water.  The
report cites a number of reasons including lack of historical records 
for handling and disposal of hazardous materials at Badger.  Prior to 
the mid-1970?s, there are no historical records for the types and
quantities of wastes that were burned, buried, or spilled.  The report 
recommends groundwater monitoring at Badger and other potential source 
sites including former and active military facilities.

CSWAB was formed in 1990 by neighbors of the Badger Army Ammunition
Plant when groundwater contamination emanating from the base was
discovered in nearby private wells; rural families were exposed to
high levels of carcinogens in their drinking water for more than 15 
years. For information about how to receive a copy of the report 
(including postcards to the WDNR and EPA) contact CSWAB by calling (608) 
643-3124 or by email at info@cswab.com.

*   *   *

Laura Olah, Executive Director
Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger
E12629 Weigand's Bay South
Merrimac, WI  53561
phone (608)643-3124
fax (608)643-0005 alt fax (608)643-2682
Email: info@cswab.com
Website: http://www.cswab.com

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