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[greenyes] EPA's Perchorate Retreat
fyi - is this Mr. Bush's version of sound science? very interesting.

EPA Bans Staff From Discussing Issue of Perchlorate Pollution

   Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

   The Bush administration has imposed a gag order on the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency from publicly discussing perchlorate
pollution, even as two new studies reveal high levels of the rocket-fuel
component may be contaminating the nation's lettuce supply.

   The lettuce studies, one published Monday by a nonprofit
environmental group and one in final preparation by an EPA laboratory in
Athens, Ga., address a crucial question in the current process of
developing a federal drinking-water standard for perchlorate: whether
Americans are ingesting the chemical from food sources in addition to
drinking water. The answer, according to both studies, strongly suggests
they are, which means that any eventual drinking-water standard will
have to be that much stricter to account for the other sources of
perchlorate exposure.

   Perchlorate pollution in drinking water has become a major concern
in some 20 states across the country, after an EPA recommendation last
year that found perchlorate in drinking water poses dangers to human
health, particularly to infant development, in concentrations above one
part per billion. The Pentagon and several defense contractors, who face
billions of dollars in potential cleanup liability for perchlorate
pollution, vehemently oppose that EPA health-risk assessment, arguing
perchlorate is safe in drinking water at levels 70 to 200 times higher
than what the EPA says is safe. In January, U.S. Sen. James Inhofe, (R.,
Okla.) chairman of the Senate's Environment and Public Works Committee,
weighed in on the industry's side with a long list of questions and
criticisms of the EPA's report. The White House recently proposed a bill
in Congress, in the name of military "readiness," that would effectively
exempt the Pentagon and defense industry from much of their potential
liability for perchlorate cleanup.

   In another step, the White House Office of Management and Budget
intervened last month to delay further regulatory action on perchlorate,
by referring the health debate to the National Academy of Sciences for
review, according to people familiar with the matter. Pending that
study, which could take an additional six to 18 months, the EPA ordered
its scientists and regulators not to speak about perchlorate, said
Suzanne Ackerman, an EPA spokeswoman.

Peter Anderson
4513 Vernon Blvd. Suite 15
Madison, WI 53705
Ph:    (608) 231-1100
Fax:   (608) 233-0011
Cell    (608) 438-9062
email: anderson@no.address

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