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National Briefing / WASHINGTON, D.C.

U.S. plans no limits on contaminant

October 04, 2008|From Times Wire Reports

Federal regulators said they don't plan to try to rid drinking water supplies of a toxic rocket fuel ingredient that's been found in 35 states.

The Environmental Protection Agency will take public comment for 30 days before finalizing its decision not to regulate the contaminant, perchlorate, in drinking water.

The announcement provoked outrage from Democratic lawmakers and a lawsuit threat from environmental groups. Particularly widespread in California and Texas, perchlorate has been found to interfere with thyroid function and pose developmental health risks, particularly for babies and fetuses.

The Defense Department used perchlorate for decades in testing missiles and rockets, and most perchlorate contamination is the result of defense and aerospace activities, congressional investigators said last year.

States have set their own drinking water standards, with California setting a limit of 6 parts per billion.

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