2005 CPEO Military List Archive

From: Lenny Siegel <lsiegel@cpeo.org>
Date: 3 Feb 2005 07:03:41 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] California Water Agencies' perchlorate statement
Association of California Water Agencies
February 2, 2005

ACWA Weighs In on Perchlorate Debate

Association of California Water Agencies
February 2, 2005

In January the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) released its
long-awaited report on the health impacts associated with perchlorate in
drinking water. Risk assessors in California and at the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have been awaiting this report to
aid in the development of state and national drinking water standards.

The NAS report largely confirms the work done in California by the
Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) but is critical
of similar work done by EPA. There are, however, multiple ways to
interpret the NAS results and various interest groups are lining up in
favor or opposition of specific interpretations.

Industry stakeholders, such as aerospace companies and the military, are
stating that nuances within the report may allow for a higher, or less
stringent, safety level in water. Environmental groups, on the other
hand, are supporting a more conservative interpretation of the results
and have submitted a petition to OEHHA asking that the current public
health goal (PHG) of 6 parts per billion (ppb) be made more stringent. A
PHG is the analysis of a contaminant?s health risk that serves as the
basis for a drinking water standard.

In their petition, the environmental groups also called on the
California Department of Health Services (DHS) to establish an emergency
regulation for perchlorate so that water consumers are provided with
immediate protection while the PHG is being reviewed.

In a letter to OEHHA and DHS dated January 27, ACWA acknowledged the
valuable information provided by the NAS report and requested that OEHHA
review the report and determine if it warrants any revision of the PHG.
The letter referenced the publicity surrounding the perchlorate risk
assessment and asked that any revisions be for purely scientific
reasons. ACWA additionally opposed the notion of an emergency regulation
since it may be ultimately changed and because utilities need certainty
when pursuing legal remedies.

OEHHA is currently evaluating the need to revise the PHG. Once this
decision is made, DHS can proceed with developing a drinking water standard.


For the original newsletter article, 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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