This lawsuit is an unfortunate attempt to undermine the regulatory process and pressure the EPA to ignore sound science and distract it from attending to real and significant public health concerns. The scientific record clearly shows environmental levels of perchlorate are low, do not pose a public health threat, and therefore do not merit regulation in the first place.
EPA is currently engaged in a scientific process with multiple stakeholders on perchlorate. If NRDC prevails in its lawsuit and the court orders EPA to prematurely or arbitrarily publish a draft drinking water standard without adequate scientific review, EPA’s rushed result may well compel public water systems to spend unnecessary resources and costs with no meaningful benefit to public health.
EPA should either proceed with the full and complete process for evaluating an appropriate regulatory standard or—as the science and public interest would suggest—dispense with regulating perchlorate altogether.
· The Safe Drinking Water Act clearly prescribes whether perchlorate should be regulated by the U.S. EPA. It must meet all three of these requirements —and in fact meets none:
o It must cause an adverse effect on human health
o It must be present at a frequency and level of public health concern
o Regulation must provide a meaningful opportunity for public health protection
· No studies have shown that environmental levels of perchlorate cause an adverse effect on human health. Claims that perchlorate causes thyroid problems, birth defects or other serious health problems are inaccurate – in more than 60 years of scientific study no published research exists to support these claims. More…
· Where perchlorate is detected in drinking water supplies, the average concentration is below 10 ppb. This is according to EPA data, which itself is more than ten years old and does not reflect reductions in perchlorate concentrations due to cleanup agreements and regulations already in place in some states.