Critics of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) often point to the EPA’s lack of scientific evidence or poor interpretation of data when new regulatory standards are being developed. Currently, the EPA is in the process of evaluating the chemical perchlorate that “will likely specify an enforceable Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) and monitoring and reporting requirements for public water systems.” With this pending regulation of perchlorate, critics are again suggesting that EPA is not using a robust scientific process.
In fact, the United States Chamber of Commerce is urging the EPA to withdraw their decision to regulate perchlorate. In their letter to the EPA, the Chamber of Commerce stated that the agency “improperly relied upon data that was not objective.”
Perchlorate is ubiquitous in the environment and according to the EPA perchloate, “…is both a naturally occurring and man-made chemical that is used to produce rocket fuel, fireworks, flares, and explosives. Perchlorate can also be present in bleach and in some fertilizers.”
In their September 2012, 14-page letter to the EPA, the Chamber concludes that the “…dataset is outdated, inaccurate, unreliable and very significantly biased (to the high side). As a result, the data set does not qualify as objective data…it should not have formed the basis for the perchlorate regulatory determination.”
More information about the regulation of perchlorate can be found at the EPA’s website.
What new Primary Drinking Water Standards may be developed as a result of the decision to regulate perchlorate, and how this will impact the regulated community, remains to be seen.