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Drinking water for nearly 16 million Americans may contain perchlorate, an extremely harmful chemical to fetus development and children. So when the E.P.A. announced that they wouldn’t impose limits on the chemical in drinking water, many were outraged.

Source: National Ground Water Association/Youtube

The Biden administration announced that they would uphold the Trump-era decision not to create limits on perchlorate in drinking water. The toxic chemical has been linked to brain damage in infants and other serious issues. Perchlorate is used in rocket fuel, ammunition, and explosives. Exposure can damage developing fetuses, and children, and significantly decrease I.Q. in newborns.

The Trump administration said that perchlorate did not meet the criteria for regulation because it was not prevalent in drinking water “with a frequency and at levels of public health concern.” When Biden took office, the E.P.A. launched a review of the decision, but they decided to keep it in place last week, claiming the science supported the decision.

The E.P.A. ensured they would set up new monitoring tools and do more clean-ups in contaminated water “to ensure that public health is protected from perchlorate in drinking water.” However, this comes just after a report found that half of the U.S. water is too polluted for fishing, swimming, or drinking. The Clean Water Act, which has been in place for 50 years, has not been successful in guaranteeing clean water for the U.S. Nearly half of the rivers and streams are too impaired to meet the quality for aquatic life, fish, consumption, swimming, or recreation. So now, why should we trust that they will ensure the perchlorate levels are not endangering society?

Erik D. Olson, the senior strategic director for health at the Natural Resources Defense Council, told the New York Times,

“We are extremely disappointed and think that it’s unscientific and unlawful to not regulate this contaminant that’s in millions of people’s drinking water,” he said. “They’re not following the best science.”

Perchlorate can naturally occur, but it is often leaked into water from human activities. In 26 states, high concentrations have been found, usually near military sites where it has been used for rocket fuel.

This is not the first time regulation of perchlorate has been fought over. In the early 2000s, President Bush also decided not to regulate it. When President Obama was in office, he reversed the decision after a 2011 report found that perchlorate in drinking water posed a serious health threat to nearly 16 million people in the United States.

Source: Waldorf Nation/Youtube

Many are confused about why the E.P.A., which is supposed to protect public health, would allow this toxic chemical to go unregulated. The public is not the ones putting perchlorate in the water, so we should not be paying the consequences. Sign this petition to stop industrial industries from dumping harmful toxic chemicals into our waterways!

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