Quantcast
Connect with us

Trump’s EPA wants minimal limits on poison in drinking water

Published

on

Thanks for your support!
This article was paid for by reader donations to Raw Story Investigates.

This article was paid for by Raw Story subscribers. Not a subscriber? Try us and go ad-free for $1. Prefer to give a one-time tip? Click here.

Sarah Okeson
Sarah Okeson

The Trump EPA calculated recommended limits of a dangerous chemical sometimes found in drinking water that can harm babies’ brain development that were more than 9 times higher than those imposed by a few states by fudging a key number in the calculation.

The Trump recommended a limit for perchlorate, which can harm infant brain development, of 56 micrograms per liter, far above the limit of 6 that California imposed and 2 that Massachusetts set, more than a decade ago.

ADVERTISEMENT

“I guess they think it’s just fine to have children have IQ loss,” said Betsy Southerland, a retired EPA official who oversaw science and technology issues in the EPA Office of Water.

Perchlorate, which a GAO study found in the water, soil or sediment of 45 states, is particularly dangerous to babies because it can harm infant brain development if their mothers are exposed to it in food or water while pregnant. Babies can also ingest perchlorate in their mothers’ breast milk or in formula.

Scientists account for uncertainty in calculating such limits with what is known as the “uncertainty factor” to protect the most vulnerable such as infants. Our nation’s public health agency, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention used a factor of 10 for perchlorate. The Trump EPA cut that by 2/3s to 3.

“I don’t think it’s grounded in the science,” said Tom Neltner, the chemicals policy director for the Environmental Defense Fund. “I think it’s a distorted reading of the science.

EPA spokesman Ken Labbe did not have a response for DCReport.org about how the limits were calculated.

ADVERTISEMENT

Massachusetts virtually eliminated perchlorate from its public drinking water supply with its limit. Testing between 2001 and 2003 found perchlorate levels of 4 micrograms per liter or higher in water systems nationwide serving more than 16.6 million people. Bleach, which water systems use to disinfect water, can degrade into perchlorate. The chemical is also in rocket fuel.

 

Tell EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler your thoughts on regulating perchlorate. Call Wheeler at 202-564-4700 or write to him at EPA Headquarters / William Jefferson Clinton Building / 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW / Mail Code: 1101A / Washington, D.C. 20460.

ADVERTISEMENT

The Environmental Defense Fund can be reached online.

The American Water Works Association, which has urged that perchlorate not be regulated, paid for a study that found faults with a more rigorous model that the Obama administration would have used to set limits for perchlorate. The Trump EPA cited that study in recommending the laxer limits.

ADVERTISEMENT

Neltner said the Trump EPA cherry-picked which studies to use in setting the recommended limit. The Environmental Defense Fund had recommended a limit of 4 micrograms per liter.

“You really get one chance to build a brain,” Neltner said.

The Trump EPA could also impose limits of 18 micrograms or 90 micrograms per liter or decide against regulating perchlorate. The federal advisory limit is 15 micrograms. EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler will have the final say.

ADVERTISEMENT

The proposed regulation is the first new standard the EPA is putting forward for an unregulated contaminant in drinking water in more than 23 years.

Cleaning up perchlorate contamination can cost millions. The EPA reached a $1.1 billion settlement in 2014 to clean up a former chemical manufacturing site in Henderson, Nev. The chemical contaminated Lake Mead.

 

This article was paid for by Raw Story subscribers. Not a subscriber? Try us and go ad-free for $1. Prefer to give a one-time tip? Click here.


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

2020 Election

Is corporate media creating a misleading impression of voter sentiment? 91 percent of Nevada Dem voters said ‘no’

Published

on

We caution readers to be very careful in interpreting the Democratic primary election results so far for reasons cited below. We think the way our major news organizations are reporting the primary results can easily create a misleading impression of voter sentiment.

The analysis below should give you pause whether you think Sanders is, and should be, a shoo-in to beat Trump or you fear that a Sanders nomination will ensure a second Trump term and a romp by Republican Congressional candidates.

We ask ardent supporters and foes of Sanders, or any other candidate, to avoid a hot or presumptive reaction to what follows, a concern based on many responses to some of my caucus night tweets and Facebook posts in recent weeks.

Continue Reading

Alternet 2020

Maybe Michael Bloomberg wasn’t as awful as he looked

Published

on

Call me crazy, but the media could have it wrong about Michael Bloomberg. The latest Democratic debate post-mortem came fast and furious – and from a prominent Op-Ed in The New York Times to the cover of The New York Post –and the verdict was almost unanimous.

Bloomberg was “disastrous.” His campaign had “imploded.” He “bombed.” Get the hook for “timid,” “defensive” Mini Mike, the pundits said. “Bye, Felicia” might be the only headline missing from the gleeful media pile-on of Bloomberg after he made his presidential debate debut.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Trump abruptly opens a new front in his vengeance campaign with a fusillade of self-serving pardons

Published

on

I’ll grant you that Donald Trump, as president, has legal and constitutional right to pardon or commute sentences for whomever he wants.

Still, we should be able to understand what the message is that is being delivered.

Are we curtailing the excesses of prosecution? Are we dealing with unfair sentencing? Or is this favored treatment for Friends of Trump?

The cluster of 11 pardons and clemencies made public yesterday – former Democratic Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who tried to sell off a vacant Senate seat for personal profit, financier Michael Milken, who duped and stole from investors, Edward DeBartolo, the former San Francisco football team owner convicted in an extortion attempt, and Bernard Kerik, formerly Rudy Giuliani’s partner who lied to Congress and committed tax fraud – just says financial crimes don’t mean anything if you’re a big-enough wheel.

Continue Reading
 
 
close-image