Comment Sought as EPA Continues Preparing for Perchlorate Regulation

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Environmental_Protection_Agency_logo.svgEPA is in the midst of a long and involved development process for a proposed regulation on perchlorate.  As they get ready to take another step forward, they are seeking public input.

The length of the process is due in part to an innovative approach to developing the Maximum Contaminant Level Goal (MCLG) based on input from the Science Advisory Board (SAB).  EPA developed a biologically based dose response model (BBDR) based on the SAB recommendations to describe the health impact of perchlorate and help derive the appropriate MCLG.  The model was subject to peer review earlier this year.  That peer review panel examined the model EPA developed and issued recommendations to EPA.  Based on that input, EPA revised the model and issued a report on their changes.  The next step is to convene another peer review panel to advise EPA on how to apply the revised model to determine the MCLG.  EPA is now soliciting comments on the list of candidate peer reviewers and the charge questions and scientific material that the panel will consider as they advise EPA on the application of the model.

The requests are covered in two separate Federal Register notices.  Note that the time periods for the review are different for each comment request.  Comment on the peer review candidates is due October 6, 2017 and comment on the review materials is due October 30, 2017.

Information on the whole perchlorate regulatory process is included on EPA’s perchlorate web page.

ASDWA encourages states, especially those with expertise in toxicology and health effects modeling, to comment on the details of this process.  This is a couple steps removed from setting the actual Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) which will be implemented by states, but these early decisions do have a significant impact on the final MCL.    EPA has a deadline of October 31, 2018 for issuing a proposed MCL for perchlorate under a court endorsed settlement agreement.  It remains to be seen whether EPA can meet this deadline considering the lengthy process involved in setting the MCLG.