2005 CPEO Military List Archive

From: Lenny Siegel <lsiegel@cpeo.org>
Date: 30 Dec 2005 00:08:42 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Waldman perchlorate article on web
[The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette picked up Waldman's main perchlorate
article, so it is available on the web. - LS]

The fight to limit regulation of a military pollutant

By Peter Waldman
The Wall Street Journal
December 29, 2005

Four years ago, while U.S. troops were toppling the Taliban in
Afghanistan, the Environmental Protection Agency lobbed a different sort
of bombshell at the Defense Department. EPA scientists recommended
strictly regulating a chemical that is a key component of munitions, but
that has seeped into drinking-water supplies.

The EPA said it had determined that the chemical, called perchlorate,
endangers babies' brain development when present even at trace levels.
As a prelude to possible formal regulation, it proposed declaring that a
safe level of the chemical in drinking water would be just one part per
billion. That's an amount so minute it wouldn't even have been
detectable a few years ago.

Pentagon officials were aghast. Defense suppliers had discharged massive
quantities of the chemical into soil and streams during the Cold War,
and they still need it for weaponry. Such a strict limit could mean the
Pentagon and defense contractors would have to clean up scores of water
sources in 35 states and even the mighty Colorado River, with its water
flow of 67,000 gallons a second at the Hoover Dam. 


For the entire 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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