2003 CPEO Military List Archive

From: Lenny Siegel <lsiegel@cpeo.org>
Date: 2 Feb 2003 18:26:57 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Perchlorate story in LA Times
Colorado River Taint Worries Some Officials

Perchlorate, a rocket fuel ingredient, enters Lake Mead near Las Vegas.
California is concerned about its effect on drinking water.

By Miguel Bustillo
Los Angeles Times
February 2, 2003

A toxic rocket fuel ingredient that is polluting the Colorado River --
the main water source for millions of Californians and most of the
nation's winter lettuce -- may be dangerous to public health even at
extremely low levels, state and federal environmental officials now believe.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the California Office of
Environmental Health Assessment, which are independently working to set
the nation's first enforceable regulations on ammonium perchlorate, are
concluding from a number of new studies that the substance could lead to
health problems, even in trace amounts.

Those findings present a serious environmental problem for the
Southwestern United States, because the entire lower Colorado River is
polluted with small amounts of perchlorate from a now-closed Nevada
rocket fuel factory.

California officials first discovered the contamination five years ago,
and an effort has been underway since then to stem the pollutant's flow
from a desert wash near the factory into Lake Mead. But more than 500
pounds of perchlorate still enters the river system every day, and it
will be years before it is fully flushed out.


for the entire story, see



Lenny Siegel
Director, Center for Public Environmental Oversight
c/o PSC, 278-A Hope St., Mountain View, CA 94041
Voice: 650/961-8918 or 650/969-1545
Fax: 650/961-8918

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