Issue Date: September 20, 2010
Perchlorate Cleanup At Federal Agencies
Perchlorate contamination of water and other media remains a problem at numerous sites operated by the federal government, according to an analysis by the Government Accountability Office. The report (GAO-10-769) reviewed cleanup efforts by the Defense Department, NASA, and the Department of Energy at their perchlorate-contaminated facilities. Most of the sites had perchlorate levels less than 15 ppb, which is the health advisory level set by EPA. GAO says that many of the federal facilities found to have perchlorate concentrations above the advisory level are being cleaned. The agencies say that the contamination comes from past disposal practices and that compliance with current federal and state laws has lessened perchlorate releases. GAO noted that there is no federal standard for perchlorate in drinking water but that several states are adopting standards for the compound, including California at 6 ppb and Massachusetts with a 2-ppb standard.
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