“E.P.A. Won’t Regulate Toxic Compound Linked to Fetal Brain Damage”

“The move was widely expected after The New York Times reported last month that the agency’s administrator had decided to effectively defy a court order.”

“WASHINGTON — The Trump administration on Thursday finalized a decision not to impose any limits on perchlorate, a toxic chemical compound found in rocket fuel that contaminates water and has been linked to fetal and infant brain damage.

The move by the Environmental Protection Agency was widely expected, after The New York Times reported last month that Andrew Wheeler, the E.P.A. administrator, had decided to effectively defy a court order that required the agency to establish a safe drinking-water standard for the chemical by the end of June. In addition to not regulating, the E.P.A. overturned the underlying scientific finding that declared perchlorate a serious health risk for five million to 16 million people in the United States.

The E.P.A. said California and Massachusetts and other states had already taken regulatory steps to reduce the contamination.”

Lisa Friedman and Coral Davenport report for the New York Times June 18, 2020.