2003 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 28 Apr 2003 17:15:40 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] EPA Bans Staff From Discussing Issue of Perchlorate Pollution
The Environmental Working Group's (EWG's) report on the contaminated
lettuce, "Suspect Salads," can be viewed at:

EPA Bans Staff From Discussing Issue of Perchlorate Pollution
By: Peter Waldman
The Wall Street Journal
April 28, 2003

The Bush administration has imposed a gag order on the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency from publicly discussing perchlorate
pollution, even as two new studies reveal high levels of the rocket-fuel
component may be contaminating the nation's lettuce supply.

The lettuce studies, one published Monday by a nonprofit environmental
group and one in final preparation by an EPA laboratory in Athens, Ga.,
address a crucial question in the current process of developing a
federal drinking-water standard for perchlorate: whether Americans are
ingesting the chemical from food sources in addition to drinking water.
The answer, according to both studies, strongly suggests they are, which
means that any eventual drinking-water standard will have to be that
much stricter to account for the other sources of perchlorate exposure.

Perchlorate pollution in drinking water has become a major concern in
some 20 states across the country, after an EPA recommendation last year
that found perchlorate in drinking water poses dangers to human health,
particularly to infant development, in concentrations above one part per
billion. The Pentagon and several defense contractors, who face billions
of dollars in potential cleanup liability for perchlorate pollution,
vehemently oppose that EPA health-risk assessment, arguing perchlorate
is safe in drinking water at levels 70 to 200 times higher than what the
EPA says is safe. In January, U.S. Sen. James Inhofe, (R., Okla.)
chairman of the Senate's Environment and Public Works Committee, weighed
in on the industry's side with a long list of questions and criticisms
of the EPA's report. The White House recently proposed a bill in
Congress, in the name of military "readiness," that would effectively
exempt the Pentagon and defense industry from much of their potential
liability for perchlorate cleanup.

This article can be viewed at:

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