Saturday, November 9, 2013

If You Care About Safe Water, Protect It!

There is a clear path for the legislation needed to better protect everyone in America from perchlorate exposure. Senator Barbara Boxer spoke from her heart about the hard science in this insightful article from the Washington Post. She is quoted making a compelling case in 2008 that the failure to regulate perchlorate in drinking water is reprehensible, at best:

"Perchlorate has been a serious, persistent and widespread problem which threatens the health of our families, especially our children," Boxer said. "For the Bush EPA to walk away from this problem and shrug off this danger is, in my view, unforgivable and immoral."

Her statement about the imperative to regulate perchlorate in drinking water is as true today as it was five years ago. The data on the long term health consequences of chronic perchlorate exposure are being compiled by us - we are the "guinea pigs" and early indications are great for the makers of synthetic thyroid hormone.  In 2011, Truthout reported on perchlorate at Army bases designated as Superfund Sites, but yet again the one-of-a-kind RCRA permit for the Radford Arsenal allows it to "slip the loop" of  EPA Superfund oversight by not being included.

Perchlorate contamination at and around military bases nationwide is not going away. Neither is the need for  Congress to pass legislation to restrict the amount of this toxin in everyone's drinking water. During the 110th session, Congressman Ed Markey co-sponsored H.R. 1747 "Safe Drinking Water for Healthy Communities Act," and Senator Barbara Boxer introduced S.150 "Protecting Pregnant Women and Children from Perchlorate Act," both of which need to be passed, reconciled and signed into law for the holidays. This important safeguard for our water will only happen when we insist on being heard above the lobbyists. Be the voice of children who need Barbara Boxer to step up to the plate again and Senator Ed Markey to join colleagues Feinstein, Cardin, and Klobuchar, co-sponsors of  S.150, to get the bill moving into law.

If you live in Virginia's 9th, Congressman Morgan Griffith needs to hear from you! Encourage him to advocate for every child in the New River Valley  by setting a uniform limit for the amount of perchlorate allowed in drinking water. We need our drinking water to be tested for perchlorate now, not only because it was recently detected in 3 of 3 private wells tested in Montgomery County, where contaminants travel in the Karst terrain underlying the facility, but also because of the ongoing releases of perchlorate from the Radford Arsenal. Those of us living around RAAP need to act locally on this one because if not us, then who?

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