2003 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 1 Jul 2003 15:54:34 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Rocket fuel ingredient linked to health problems
Rocket fuel ingredient linked to health problems

"If they made solid rocket fuel, there's going to be perchlorate
contamination," said Lenny Siegel, executive director of the Center for
Public Environmental Oversight.

A prime ingredient in the rocket fuel made at the Radford Army
Ammunition Plant and elsewhere has been found in water supplies in 20
states. It has turned up in a sample taken from an area beside the New

Perchlorate, a salt that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency links
to thyroid damage and says could harm infants' brain development, has
again been the subject of widespread news coverage in recent weeks.

The Wall Street Journal and Associated Press reported debate between the
EPA and the Department of Defense about whether to test groundwater at
5,000 present and former military installations. There has been
increasing attention paid to perchlorate since the late 1990s as it was
discovered in wells, rivers and public water systems around more and
more facilities where it was made or handled. Perchlorate contamination
of the Colorado River has affected water supplies in Southern
California, Southern Nevada and Arizona.

Rob Davie, the Army's operation's chief at the Radford arsenal, said
Friday that the arsenal had not carried out comprehensive testing that
would indicate whether the plant has a perchlorate problem.

"We haven't sampled enough to say there's none here," Davie said.

Davie said he wasn't sure if perchlorate is still used at the arsenal.

Perchlorate turned up in a 1999 water sample taken at an area used in
the 1970s as a disposal site for ash from the burning of waste
propellant, said Jim McKenna, who heads the arsenal's cleanup of waste
left from former operations. The disposal site is in the eastern end of
the Horseshoe Area, in a bend of the New River.

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