2002 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 13 Dec 2002 21:40:07 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Feinstein on Perchlorate
Monday December 2, 2002

Contact: Howard Gantman
or Scott Gerber 202/224-9629

Senator Feinstein Asks the Secretary of Defense and EPA Administrator
for Assistance in Cleaning-up Contaminated Wells in Southern California

 Washington, DC ? Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today asked
Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, and the Administrator of the
Environmental Protection Agency, Christine Todd Whitman, to provide
clean-up funding and assistance to California communities where
perchlorate contamination threatens their safe drinking water supplies.
Because many of these contaminated sites involve former defense
facilities, Senator Feinstein believes that the federal government bears
a special responsibility to remedy the situation as soon as possible.

 In letters to the Secretary of Defense and the EPA Administrator,
Senator Feinstein wrote: "The growing number of perchlorate contaminated
wells is all the more alarming in the context of California's efforts to
reduce its consumption of Colorado River water under the terms of the
Quantification Settlement Agreement.  While California water districts
are working diligently to devise strategies to reduce the State's need
for imported water, perchlorate contamination is threatening the native
water supplies these agencies are relying upon to meet local needs.  The
Metropolitan Water District of Southern California estimates that in its
service area alone, lost well production due to perchlorate
contamination could reach 57,000 acre feet annually.

 "The problem is particularly acute in the Inland Empire, where a seven
mile long plume was discovered earlier this year.  The plume, which is
moving two to three inches per day, has contaminated 22 drinking water
wells in western San Bernardino County, jeopardizing water supplies for
approximately 500,000 local residents and business...The problem is so
severe that without federal assistance, the region faces a very real
possibility of water rationing or of having to supply customers with
bottled water."

 According to recent report by the California Department of Health
Services, perchlorate has been detected in 284 groundwater wells
operated by 75 different water agencies throughout the state.
Collectively, these agencies serve 24.8 million people, representing 71
percent of the State's population.

 More information on perchlorate, the primary ingredient in solid rocket
propellant that is known to affect the functioning of the thyroid gland,
can be found at http://www.epa.gov/safewater/ccl/perchlor/perchlo.html.

 Copies of Senator Feinstein's letters are available on request.


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