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DRAFT PERCHLORATE RISK ASSESSMENT RELEASED FOR REVIEW; PEER REVIEW MEETING SCHEDULED

Release Date: 01/18/2002
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FRIDAY, JANUARY 18, 2002

DRAFT PERCHLORATE RISK ASSESSMENT RELEASED FOR REVIEW;
PEER REVIEW MEETING SCHEDULED

David Deegan 202-564-7839 / deegan.dave@epa.gov

EPA has released a revised draft risk assessment of ammonium perchlorate, a component of solid rocket fuel. It is the latest step in an ongoing effort to assess the human health and ecotoxicological risks posed by perchlorate. Comments will be accepted on the draft risk assessment until March 6. EPA will also hold an external scientific peer review workshop in Sacramento, Calif., on March 5 and 6 to review the assessment and to accept additional comments. This meeting will be open to the public and more information is available at: http://www.epa.gov/fedrgstr/ under the heading for Jan. 2. The efforts to characterize potential risks from perchlorate contamination and the development of this revised external review draft have followed an open public process, highlighted by the working partnership of the Interagency Perchlorate Steering Committee, which is co-chaired by EPA and the U.S. Department of Defense, and which currently comprises representatives from more than 23 state, federal and tribal agencies. EPA first released a preliminary risk assessment for perchlorate in 1998 and recommendations for additional studies and analyses were made at a 1999 scientific peer review. The external review draft of the revised document, “Perchlorate Environmental Contamination: Toxicological Review and Risk Characterization,” incorporates results from extensive laboratory and field studies, in addition to responding to those recommendations. The draft risk estimate level is not a drinking water standard, but it is the first step in a lengthy process to determine if the agency should set a federal drinking water standard for this contaminant. Therefore, it is premature at this stage to interpret risk estimates in the draft document as final EPA conclusions on which the Agency could take risk management action. The draft assessment is available at: http://www.epa.gov/ncea under “what’s new.” After comments derived from the current public comment period are addressed, the final assessment document will undergo Agency consensus clearance for inclusion on EPA's Integrated Risk Information System. The human health and ecological risk estimates could be used in the future to support development of a health advisory or a possible drinking water regulation and for consideration in cleanup decisions at federal facilities or other contaminated sites. These decisions would be subject to the legal, regulatory or policy requirements associated with those programs.

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