Perchlorate is a chemical widely used by the military and defense industries in solid rocket propellants, fireworks, and other explosives. Read Hartman King PC’s last article, The Long-Standing Fight for Setting Federal Limits on Perchlorate in Drinking Water May Be Nearing an End, for more information on the debate surrounding perchlorate regulation.

On June 18, 2020, the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) issued a final action regarding the regulation of perchlorate under the Safe Drinking Water Act (“SDWA”). EPA, the agency responsible for setting federal limits on chemicals allowed in public drinking water, formally announced it will withdraw its 2011 regulatory determination, and that its final determination is to “not issue a national regulation for perchlorate at this time.” After performing a health impact analysis, EPA found that “perchlorate is not found in drinking water with a frequency and at levels of public health concern to support meaningful opportunity for health risk reduction through a national perchlorate drinking water regulation.”

EPA credits state and local water systems with effectively and efficiently managing levels of perchlorate in drinking water, ultimately reducing the amount of perchlorate contamination in public water systems. According to EPA, these “local success stories” allow people access to safe drinking water without “unnecessary federal intervention.”

Although the final determination means that there will be no perchlorate regulation at the national level, EPA did provide a guide for water systems to use when addressing perchlorate in drinking water. California and Massachusetts remain the only states that currently regulate perchlorate in drinking water because the SDWA allows states to set and enforce their own drinking water standards, so long as they are at least as stringent as the federal regulations.

As a public water purveyor or other regulated entity, remaining compliant and following evolving agency decisions can be challenging. If you need assistance, we are here to help. Please contact us at

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© 2020 – Hartman King PC. All rights reserved. The information in this article has been prepared by Hartman King PC for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.