EPA Perchlorate Decision Upholds Science, Agency Practice, and Federal Law


RE: EPA Perchlorate Decision Upholds Science, Agency Practice, and Federal Law

Today’s decision by EPA that perchlorate does not merit additional federal regulation, is based on the best available scientific information, ensures protection of public health and the environment, and assures access to clean water. This action is supported by 70 years of scientific research and is consistent with the Biden Administration’s pledge to scientific integrity.
• Todays’ action reflects the scientific record on perchlorate. Perchlorate is one of the most well-studied environmental chemicals EPA has ever evaluated. The agency has spent decades generating and collecting valuable information to support the robust scientific database on how perchlorate acts in the human body. In 2020, EPA scientists came to the conclusion that environmental levels of perchlorate pose no threat of adverse effects to human health, even for the most sensitive populations.

• Today’s action recognizes substantial work by independent scientific experts whose opinions were sought by EPA itself. Today’s decision rests securely on the recommendations of six independent peer review panels, including the National Academy of Sciences.

• Today’s action is supported by nationwide evidence that perchlorate levels are decreasing, further emphasizing that federal action is not needed. EPA’s research in 2001 determined that where perchlorate was detected, it was found at less than 10 parts per billion (ppb) in 99% of samples tested. For context, The National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) determined in 2005 that levels of perchlorate below 24.5 ppb have no measurable effect on human health. Research published in the past five years has demonstrated that perchlorate detections have decreased substantially since 2001, as EPA itself documented in 2020.

• Today’s action is consistent with Federal Law. There are three requirements that must all be met for a chemical to be regulated under the Safe Water Drinking Act (SDWA): First, the contaminant must cause adverse health effects; second, there must be a substantial likelihood that the chemical occurs at levels of public health concern; and third, regulation must meaningfully reduce public health risk in the Administrator’s opinion. Perchlorate does not meet the first two requirements. Based on the evidence and federal law, EPA must conclude that perchlorate meets the requirements for regulation under the SDWA.

• Lack of a federal regulation does not mean nothing is being done about perchlorate. The public can be assured that states where perchlorate has been most prevalent have already taken regulatory action, further emphasizing that additional federal regulation is not needed.
Please visit www.perchlorateinformationbureau.org for factual information on perchlorate, or contact Bill Romanelli at 916-212-1446.
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The Perchlorate Information Bureau is supported by Aerojet Rocketdyne, American Pacific Corporation, and Lockheed Martin. These companies have worked cooperatively with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to increase scientific and medical understanding of perchlorate’s risk to human health.