Boxer Perchlorate Bills Approved By Senate Environment Committee
Legislation Requires EPA to Set Protective Standard and Resume Testing for Toxic Rocket Fuel Component; 106 Contaminated Sites in California
July 31, 2008
Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, today made the following remarks regarding Committee approval of her two measures to protect the American public from exposure to perchlorate, a toxic component of rocket fuel that contaminates drinking water systems in 35 states, including California:
Perchlorate is found in the drinking water supplies of over 20 million Americans and particularly threatens pregnant women, infants and children. It comes from rocket fuel and other sources.
In 2005, the Government Accountability Office found that there were nearly 400 sites in 35 states - including 106 sites in California -- contaminated with perchlorate. Yet the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has thus far refused to set a standard for safe perchlorate levels in drinking water, and in December 2006, EPA revoked its rule requiring some water systems to monitor for perchlorate and to disclose the test results to the public.
Senator Boxer said, "Perchlorate in drinking water threatens the most vulnerable among us - children and pregnant women. Today the Environment Committee has made real progress toward ensuring that children and families can turn on their taps and be assured that their water is safe to drink."
Details of the two bills follow:
· S.24, the Perchlorate Monitoring and Right to Know Act requires that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) resume testing of drinking water for perchlorate, and that the results of those tests be disclosed to the public.
· S. 150, the Protecting Pregnant Women and Children from Perchlorate Act requires the EPA to promptly set a standard for perchlorate in drinking water that protects pregnant women and children.