U.S. EPA Regulation

  Yes No
Does perchlorate cause an adverse effect on human health?  
Does perchlorate create a public health concern due to the frequency and level of presence in drinking water systems?  
Does regulating perchlorate provide a meaningful opportunity for health risk reduction?  

In early 2011, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a controversial Regulatory Determination on Perchlorate, concluding that perchlorate should be regulated under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA).

In order for the EPA to decide to regulate any compound under the SDWA, it has to satisfy three statutory requirements. Specifically:

  • The compound must cause an adverse effect on human health;
  • It must be present in drinking water systems at a frequency and level of public health concern; and
  • Regulation presents a meaningful opportunity for health risk reduction.

EPA did not, however, demonstrate that perchlorate meets any of the statutory criteria in its Regulatory Determination on Perchlorate. EPA instead relied upon broad generalizations that do not satisfy the requirements of the SDWA. EPA must recognize the overwhelming scientific evidence that there is no public health benefit in additional federal regulation of perchlorate.

Ultimately, based on these facts about human health, the work several states where perchlorate has been found have already done to regulate perchlorate, the low levels of perchlorate found in the environment, and the preponderance of scientific evidence, the US Environmental Protection Agency determined in June 2020 that perchlorate did not meet the requirements for additional national regulation under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act.

Perchlorate Information Bureau Comments on the State and Federal Regulatory Process

The comments are available here