- WEB EXCLUSIVE
- PE COFFEEHAUS
EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson on Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2009, announced that the agency is seeking public comment on its re-evaluation of the scientific information on perchlorate in drinking water. Under the Bush administration, the EPA made a preliminary decision not to regulate perchlorate. Administrator Jackson directed EPA staff to review that decision and, as part of that review, the agency is putting special emphasis on evaluating the impact of perchlorate on infants and young children, according to a recent agency release.
The new analysis will take into account that infants and children consume more water per body weight than do adults, the release said. The EPA is now considering a broader range of alternatives for interpreting the available data on the level of health concern, the frequency of occurrence of perchlorate in drinking water, and the opportunity for health risk reduction through a national primary drinking water standard. These alternative interpretations may impact the agency’s final regulatory determination for perchlorate.
“It is critically important to protect sensitive populations, particularly infants and young children, from perchlorate in drinking water,” said Jackson. “As we re re-evaluate the science around perchlorate, we will seek public input before making a regulatory determination based on the best science.”
In response to a 2008 preliminary determination not to regulate perchlorate, the EPA received and reviewed comments from more than 32,000 individuals and organizations. The agency note it will consider those comments, as well as new comments received during the 30-day comment period on the current notice, before making a final decision on whether to regulate perchlorate under the Safe Drinking Water Act.
The current notice will be available for public comment through the end of August.