From: Matt King, The Dispatch
Published February 1, 2006 12:00 AM

EPA Sets Perchlorate Cleanup Level

GILROY, Calif. — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released a federal cleanup level for perchlorate that is more than four times higher than California's public health goal for the contaminant. The level -- 24.5 part per billion -- matches the so-called reference dose the EPA said last year was protective of all humans, including children and pregnant women.

According to EPA scientists, the reference dose will not be finalized for years. When it is, the EPA will likely set a maximum contaminant level, or MCL, for perchlorate in water. The drinking water standard could be much lower than the reference dose.

Thomas Mohr, the perchlorate project manager for the Santa Clara Valley Water District, said the action should not have an impact on cleanup of the former Olin Corp. road flare factory in Morgan Hill and the shuttered United Technology Corp. rocket testing facility in Coyote Valley because those states are governed by state regulations.

Perchlorate is a sodium known to interfere with thyroid function.

California's public health goal, the level considered safe for human consumption, is 6 ppb.

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Source: Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News

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