Pentagon has refused to test for toxic rocket-fuel chemical

Department of Defense operations are a primary perpetrator of perchlorate contamination nationwide, but the department has regularly turned down state and federal requests to test for the toxic chemical, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office. Perchlorate — which is commonly found in rocket fuel and can cause thyroid dysfunction — has been found in at least 395 sites in 35 states, but only 51 sites are currently being cleaned or are slated for cleanup. The Pentagon says it will test only when there’s a reasonable chance of human exposure, as determined by … the Pentagon. It cites the lack of clear state or federal rules for perchlorate regulation or contamination. The states, and the GAO, recommend a formal nationwide system for monitoring detections and cleanup. Defense says such a system is unnecessary. So, to summarize: The Pentagon won’t test because there are no shared standards, and the Pentagon opposes the development of shared standards. Circular logic aside, communities around the country are suing the DOD to clean up perchlorate-contaminated water supplies.