Feds Aim For Harsher Regulations On Toxic Chemicals In Drinking Water

The Environmental Protection Agency is ratcheting up restrictions on drinking water, setting the first standards for perchlorate, a compound found in rocket fuel, as well as new standards for as many as 16 other toxic and carcinogenic chemicals.

The New York Times quotes the agency’s administrator, who gave testimony before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee:

“While we’ve put in place standards to address more than 90 drinking water contaminants, there are many more contaminants of emerging concern, which science has only recently allowed us to detect at very low levels.”

The story says high concentrations of perchlorate have been found in drinking water in 26 states, typically near rocket-testing military installations and where fireworks are made, and that researchers have found that the compound can impair the thyroid and stunt the growth of fetuses and children. The agency didn’t set a limit on perchlorate, but established a rule-making process which will come to a standard.

E.P.A. Plans New Limits on Toxic Chemicals in Drinking Water [The New York Times]