"The Environmental Protection Agency wants to regulate a toxic chemical used in rocket fuel that has contaminated drinking water supplies, reversing a decision made under the Bush administration.
A government official briefed by the EPA told The Associated Press on Thursday night that the agency has proposed that the chemical, perchlorate, be regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act. The official, who did not want to be named because a final decision has not been made, said the plan is now under interagency review.
Perchlorate has been found in drinking water in at least 35 states at levels high enough to interfere with thyroid function and pose developmental problems in humans, particularly for babies and fetuses.
The Defense Department used perchlorate for decades in testing rockets and missiles, and most perchlorate contamination stems from defense and aerospace activities.
In 2008, under President George W. Bush, the EPA decided against regulating the chemical, saying that setting a federal standard would do little to reduce risks to public health. That decision angered environmentalists and Democratic lawmakers."
Frederic J. Frommer reports for the Associated Press September 30, 2010.