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Should the EPA Regulate Perchlorate and Toxic Chemicals in Drinking Water

Reversing a Bush administration decision, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson today announced the agency would develop a regulation for perchlorate, a chemical that may impact thyroid function. Monitoring data show more than 4 percent of public water systems have detected perchlorate and between 5 million and 17 million people may be served drinking water containing perchlorate. The agency is also establishing a drinking water standard to address up to 16 toxic chemicals, includes trichloroethylene (TCE) and tetrachloroethylene (PCE) as well as contaminants discharged from industrial operations, that may pose human health risks.

“Clean water is critical to the health and prosperity of every American community and a fundamental concern to every American family,” Jackson said. “EPA is hard at work on innovative ways to improve protections for the water we drink and give to our children, and the development of these improved standards is an important step forward. Our decisions are based on extensive review of the best available science and the health needs of the American people.”
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Asked by emilysmom1966 at 7:42 AM on Feb. 5, 2011 in Politics & Current Events

Level 18 (6,228 Credits)
Answers (33)
  • The levels in the water are natural and all you are going to see is massive amounts of money having to be spent by local municipalities resulting in much higher water bills and no health benefit.

    Answer by Carpy at 8:44 AM on Feb. 5, 2011

  • Bush didn't support teh EPA's regulation of perchlorate because it is a NATURALLY OCCURRING element!! I can see where MAN-MADE perchlorate SHOULD be properly contained/disposed of, but certain areas of the United States are simply prone to the NATURALLY occurring element--coincidentally in the same region where the highest concentrations have been found!

    "We show that perchlorate is readily formed by a variety of simulated atmospheric processes. For example, it is formed from chloride aerosol by electrical discharge and by exposing aqueous chloride to high concentrations of ozone. We report that perchlorate is present in many rain and snow samples. This strongly suggests that some perchlorate is formed in the atmosphere and a natural perchlorate background of atmospheric origin should exist."



    Answer by LoriKeet at 8:47 AM on Feb. 5, 2011

  • Makes me glad I have well water. Water bills are going to go through the roof.

    Answer by Carpy at 8:58 AM on Feb. 5, 2011

  • I have a well, and I'm extremely grateful for it at this point. We test it fairly regularly, but in 18 years ( the property was bought from a long time friend) it has always tested more than safe.

    I don't think anything should be regulated or treated if it is naturally occuring in our water. I do think testing should be done regularly (moreso than currently happens) to keep an eye on irregular and severe issues that happen as far as the public water supply goes. Much of what the EPA currently does is very wasteful, and they do far too little in some areas. Lousy management and too much politics.

    Answer by Farmlady09 at 9:23 AM on Feb. 5, 2011

  • I think it's important to check for and regulate chemicals in our water. Just because something is naturally occurring doesn't mean that through runoff from industries (whose regulations were relaxed under the Bush Administration as well) isn't adding to those levels. I think subsidizing big oil companies and waging war in foreign countries are bigger wastes of money than ensuring the safety of our water supplies.


    Answer by jsbenkert at 9:56 AM on Feb. 5, 2011

  • (whose regulations were relaxed under the Bush Administration as well)

    Relaxed in what way? Not allowing costly needless regulations yet not rolling back anything?

    Answer by Carpy at 10:15 AM on Feb. 5, 2011

  • I think it's important to check for and regulate chemicals in our water. Just because something is naturally occurring doesn't mean that through runoff from industries (whose regulations were relaxed under the Bush Administration as well) isn't adding to those levels.

    And those issues are check for. The levels that are typically in our drinking water are not dangerous. We have very good regulations.and testing means. There is no need for economically burdensome overkill.

    Answer by Carpy at 10:18 AM on Feb. 5, 2011

  • NO, No, No No ! The EPA needs to be shuttered never to utter another word. This entity has done nothing but cause businesses to close causing lay offs and others to never be opened because they can't afford to get through all the red tape. The ladies above are right. you can't and don't need to get every freaking thing out of our water because it MIGHT do something. You MIGHT be hit by a bus tomorrow but it's not likely they will ban buses. Water is regulated by both the FDA and the states. We get a pamphlet twice a year on our water and at anytime something gets out of whack with the water we get one explaining what it was and what was done to fix it. This will be another needless power grab that only costs us more money. (going now to beat my head against a wall)

    Answer by itsmesteph11 at 10:18 AM on Feb. 5, 2011

  • Absolutely not. Total waste of $.

    Answer by derosia_mama at 10:22 AM on Feb. 5, 2011

  • I don't want the EPA regulating anything. I want them disbanded and everyone sent home. They have been given power of us that is beyond acceptable in all aspects of the agency.

    Answer by jesse123456 at 10:23 AM on Feb. 5, 2011

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