Massachusetts proposes tough standard for perchlorate in drinking water

In a not-so-subtle jab at the Bush administration, Massachusetts has proposed a strict drinking-water standard for the toxic chemical perchlorate, which can disrupt metabolism, growth, and development, particularly in children. There is currently no federal limit on perchlorate in drinking water, though the U.S. EPA has a recommended safe limit. The Bay State’s proposed mandatory standard would be more than 10 times as strict as the EPA’s voluntary one. Separately, the EPA’s advisory committee on children’s health — which includes industry reps, academics, and state regulators — last week sent a miffed letter to EPA chief Stephen Johnson saying the feds’ cleanup level for perchlorate at toxic-waste sites isn’t strong enough to protect infants from brain damage. Perchlorate, which occurs in rocket fuel and munitions, is found most often on military bases — which has nothing to do with the government’s unwillingness to restrict it. Nothing!