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Potential Court Imposed Deadline for EPA to Issue Perchlorate Rule

A federal court judge met this week with the parties involved in a suit filed by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) against EPA on the regulation of perchlorate.  The judge is considering the request by NRDC to mandate a final date for EPA to issue the proposed rule for this contaminant.  As reported in the industry press, some observers believe the judge is leaning toward setting a firm date for EPA to publish the proposal.   EPA made a formal determination to regulate perchlorate in 2011 but did not issue the proposed rule within the 24 months prescribed by the SDWA.  To follow the advice of their Science Advisory Board, EPA’s has delayed the rule to revise their modeling of health effects.  Earlier this year EPA requested nominations for per reviewers to examine their modeling work.  This would be the final step that would allow EPA to use the new modeling approach to establish the MCLG.
EPA’s latest official target date for the proposed rule is in 2017, but that is uncertain considering that the modeling work is not yet final.  Obviously, the court could set an earlier date.  EPA is also in negotiations with NRDC on a settlement in the case in which the two parties would come up with a mutually acceptable, court approved, date to publish the proposed rule.  ASDWA will keep states informed about the progress on a perchlorate rule.