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Draft Perchlorate rule expires today under Red Tape Committee's watch

Date : Tue, 16 Mar 2010 11:30:57 -0400

Grace Sica, Outreach Coordinator NJ Sierra Club 145 W. Hanover St. Trenton, NJ 08618 p: 609-656-7612 f: 609-656-7618

                                                                                    For Immediate Release Contact: Jeff Tittel
March 16, 2010 609.558.9100

Executive Orders put Toxics in Drinking Water Draft Perchlorate rule expires today under Red Tape Committee's watch

Trenton - On Tuesday Gov. Christie's Executive Orders will claim their first victim. The proposed perchlorate regulations will expire, risking public health and wasting taxpayer money. The Sierra Club finds it appalling that the Christie Administration would play politics with such blatant disregard for people's health and safety. The perchlorate regulations failed to be finalized as a result of Governor Christie's first Executive Order halting new regulations.

The proposed perchlorate standard is 5 mg/l and on March 16th this proposal will expire. Perchlorate is used to make rocket fuel and fireworks. In recent years perchlorate has turned up in drinking water and food. One of six public water samples by the DEP revealed perchlorate in the water.

"Public health and safety is the first victim of Gov. Christie's Executive Order, by preventing a new scientific and health based standard to go forward especially for children in New Jersey," said Jeff Tittel, Director New Jersey Sierra Club. "It is unconscionable that a Governor would you use red tape as an excuse to pollute the drinking water for people in New Jersey."

Perchlorate is not federally regulated. In absence of federal standards regulation is left to the states. New Jersey's proposal of 5 mg/l is in line with other states. California's standard is 6 mg/l and Massachusetts currently regulates at 2mg/l. Both of these states noted the risk to fetuses, infants, and children in their rulemaking.

If this rule is allowed to sunset it will set back the process one entire year, putting people at risk and raising taxpayer costs. When perchlorate is ingested it disrupts the function of the thyroid glands. In adults this slows down metabolic functions, with uncomfortable symptoms. For fetuses, infants and children, perchlorate exposure may lead to brain and developmental problems.

The economic cost of health impacts - medical care, lost job and school time, and the cost of special education - will all rise.

"This executive order puts rocket fuel in our drinking water," said Tittel. "By not having this rule go forward, the people of New Jersey will face unimaginable costs."

The perchlorate standard has been in the works in New Jersey for over five years. The first report, released five years ago, included a comprehensive scientific review that demonstrated the need to develop a stricter standard, especially for adverse populations. The DEP finally issued proposed regulations in March 2009 and was given one year to finalize them.

The first Executive Order explicitly exempts rules that impact public health and/or are federally designated or funded programs. The perchlorate rule falls in both of those categories. Unfortunately, the Christie administration failed to do their homework and by freezing the regulations they almost guarantee that new standards will not be set.

###

Received on 2010-03-16 08:30:57

New Jersey Sierra Club, 145 West Hanover St., Trenton, NJ 08618, USA
tel: 609 656 7612, fax 609 656 7618
or email Nicole Dallara, Outreach Coordinator, at nicole.dallara@sierraclub.org

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