2003 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 23 May 2003 15:13:02 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military


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

Thursday, May 22, 2003


Senate Approves Feinstein Measure Directing the Department of Defense to
Release Perchlorate Study

Washington, DC – The U.S. Senate today approved a provision sponsored by
Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) that would direct the Department of
Defense to provide Congress with the results of a survey of perchlorate
contamination completed in 2001
and not released.  The amendment will be included as part of the FY’04
Defense Authorization bill.

In spring 2001, the Department of Defense reportedly conducted a survey
of perchlorate contamination at all active and closed Defense Department
sites, dating back to 1950. Despite the completion of the study, the
results have not been released to
Congress or to the public.

Widely used during the Cold War, perchlorate is a primary ingredient in
rocket fuel. According to a recent report by the California Department
of Health Services, perchlorate has been detected in water supplies in
22 states as well as the Colorado River.

“Over the past few decades, the Department of Defense and defense
contractors have allowed perchlorate, a primary ingredient in
 a large array of rocket propellants, to seep into the ground and now
contaminate drinking water supplies in California and 21
other states,” Senator Feinstein said.  Indeed, the more we look for
perchlorate in our water, the more we find.”

“It seems that the Department of Defense has a great deal of information
on the scope of the problem, but that information
hasn’t been shared with Congress,” Senator Feinstein said. “This
amendment would help determine the true scope of the

In California, state health officials have detected the presence of
perchlorate in 292 groundwater wells operated by 80 different water
agencies. Collectively these agencies serve approximately 25 million
people, representing 71 percent of the State’s population. The problem
is most severe in Southern California, where 267 of the contaminated
wells are located.

“Perchlorate may pose a health threat to millions of Americans, but
currently no state or federal standards exist regarding maximum
perchlorate contamination in drinking water,” Senator Feinstein said.
“It is time for the Department of Defense to tell Congress what it knows
about perchlorate contamination, so that we can make the necessary
policy decisions to protect the health and safety of Americans.”


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