Washington, D.C. Federal regulators said Friday they don't plan to try to rid drinking water supplies of a toxic rocket fuel ingredient that's been found in 35 states.
The Environmental Protection Agency will take public comment for 30 days before finalizing its decision not to regulate the contaminant, perchlorate, in drinking water. The Associated Press and other news outlets reported the agency's plans last month based on internal EPA documents.
The announcement Friday provoked outrage from Democratic lawmakers and a lawsuit threat from environmental groups. Particularly widespread in California and Texas, perchlorate has been found to interfere with thyroid function and pose developmental health risks, particularly for babies and fetuses.
"EPA's decision has industry's fingerprints all over it. Weapons makers will benefit at the expense of millions of Americans," said Earthjustice attorney George Torgun. He said Earthjustice would argue in court that perchlorate does qualify for regulation under the Safe Drinking Water Act.