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EPA’s Proposal for Limiting Rocket Fuel in Drinking Water Is Dangerous to Public Health
After a decade of delay, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finally proposed a limit for levels of the toxic chemical perchlorate (a component of rocket fuel) in drinking water — except the newly proposed standard of 56 parts per billion is 10 to 50 times higher than what scientists recommend.
Widely used by the military and defense industries, as well as in fireworks and explosives, perchlorate is highly soluble in water and can move quickly into ground- and surface water once it reaches soil. Even low levels of exposure to the chemical can impair hormone production critical to brain development. "Fetuses and infants are especially vulnerable to harm from perchlorate," said Olson. The chemical has been detected in drinking water systems that serve up to 16.6 million Americans — posing significant health risks for children and pregnant women.
Multiple states have lower standards for perchlorate in drinking water that align with the science, like Massachusetts (2 parts per billion) and California (6 parts per billion).
"This is another Trump administration gift to polluters and water utilities that have lobbied to be off the hook for cleaning up the problem," Olson said.
- E.P.A. Proposes Weaker Standards on Chemicals Contaminating ... ›
- EPA Scientists: The Toxic Chemicals Our Agency Won't Regulate ... ›
- Critics say EPA action plan on toxic 'forever chemicals' falls short ... ›
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Toxic Waste Will Continue to Grow for Decades Even if All U.S. Drilling and Fracking Halts Today, New Report Says
By Jessica Corbett
For more than three decades, the U.S. government has mismanaged toxic oil and gas waste containing carcinogens, heavy metals and radioactive materials, according to a new Earthworks report — and with the country on track to continue drilling and fracking for fossil fuels, the advocacy group warns of growing threats to the planet and public health.
Newly adopted guidelines set forth by the European Commission Tuesday aim to tackle climate change by way of the financial sector. The move comes to bolster the success of the Sustainable Action Plan published last year to reorient capital flows toward sustainable investment and manage financial risks from climate change, environmental degradation and social issues.