2003 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 18 Mar 2003 20:56:36 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: Re: [CPEO-MEF] Connecting the perchlorate dots
The following was posted by Robert S. Taylor <RST195005@aol.com>
The Safe Drinking Water Act provides authority for the Administrator of
EPA to issue an order to DoD "upon receipt of information that a
contaminant which is present in or is likely to enter a public water
system or an underground source of drinking water may present an
imminent and substantial endangerment to the health of persons ...."
Section 300i(a).  The presence of a drinking water standard is not
necessary for an order under this provision.  The existence of a state
standard might be of some persuasive value, but it would not be by
itself determinative of whether the concentration of a pollutant in
drinking water constituted an imminent or substantial endangerment.

Section 300j-6 of the Act provides that all federal agencies "shall be
subject to, and comply with, all Federal, State, interstate, and local
requirements, both substantive and procedural ... respecting the
protection of" wellhead protection areas.  The States are supposed to
establish wellhead protection areas [300h-7] "to protect wellhead areas
within their jurisdiction from contaminants which may have any adverse
effect on the health of persons."

The Safe Drinking Water Act provides both EPA and the States with the
tools necessary to protect drinking water.  CERCLA and RCRA provide
tools for requiring cleanup of groundwater to drinking water standards
whether the groundwater is used or may be used for drinking water or

The Range initiative of DoD would have no effect in an area like the
Massachusetts Military Reservation, where the order was issued under the
Safe Drinking Water Act to protect a source of drinking water.
Presumably there are areas, especially in California, that are affected
by perchlorate and that are sources of drinking water. Whether
California has made such areas subject to wellhead protections under the
Act I don't know, but I do not see anything in either the Safe Drinking
Water Act or in DoD's legislative package that would impede California's
ability to protect such areas from perchlorates or anything else.

Robert S. Taylor

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