Posted by: Lawyer Sanders | October 14, 2008

Lawyer Sanders says EPA seeking comments on its decision to forego regulation of perchlorate under Safe Drinking Water Act.

To absolutely no surprise to anyone watching the final days of the Bush Administration wind to a conclusion, EPA made a preliminary determination for perchlorate in accordance with the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). The federal agency determined that a national primary drinking water regulation (NPDWR) for perchlorate would not present “a meaningful opportunity for health risk reduction for persons served by public water systems.”


The SDWA requires EPA to make determinations every five years of whether to regulate at least five contaminants on the Contaminant Candidate List (CCL). EPA included perchlorate on the first and second CCLs that were published in the Federal Register on March 2, 1998 and February 24, 2005. Most recently, EPA presented final regulatory determinations regarding 11 contaminants on the second CCL in a notice published in the Federal Register on July 30, 2008.


EPA will make a final regulatory determination for perchlorate after considering comments and information provided in the 30-day comment period following this notice. EPA plans to publish a health advisory for perchlorate at the time the Agency publishes its final regulatory determination to provide State and local public health officials with technical information that they may use in addressing local contamination.


DATES: Comments must be received on or before November 10, 2008.


ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW- 2008-0068, by one of the following methods: Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments.

    • Mail: Water Docket, Environmental Protection Agency, Mailcode: 2822T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave.,   NW., Washington, DC 20460.

    • Hand Delivery: Water Docket, EPA Docket Center (EPA/DC) EPA West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave., NW., Washington, DC.  Such deliveries are only accepted during the Docket’s normal hours of

operation, and special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information.


Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2008- 0068. EPA’s policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available online at, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected through or e-mail. The Web site is an “anonymous access” system, which means EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment.


If you send an e-mail comment directly to EPA without going through your e-mail address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, EPA recommends that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any disk or CD-ROM you submit. If EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, EPA may not be able to consider your comment.  


Let me see if I can accurately predict the future on this issue.  EPA will fast track this Bush agency decision before the upcoming change of a Democratic administration.  In the meantime, a national environmental group will challenge this decision in federal court and eventually obtain a decision that EPA’s determination not to regulate perchlorate was without a sound scientific basis and contrary to the plain meaning of the Safe Drinking Water Act.  The court will remand the matter back to EPA.  In the meantime, the members of the public will consume several additional years of perchlorate contaminated drinking water before EPA has an amended regulation adding perchlorate as a regulated contaminant under the Safe Drinking Water Act. 


In another wild-ass-guess, I also see U.S. EPA Administrator, Stephen Johnson, going to work for the API, as a lobbiest, or a large lawfirm in Washington D.C. that represents industrial clients in regulatory matters pending before U.S. EPA.  Does the old revolving door sound familiar to anyone else?



  1. Is there anything the Bush admin got right?

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