The federal government has been inconsistent and at times intentionally silent on how much perchlorate is safe in drinking water. As a result, environmental groups contend, defense contractors and the government have been indefinitely shielded from cleanup costs while infants and pregnant women are exposed to a chemical that impairs thyroid function and can slow infant brain development.
Perchlorate is the oxidizing component of rocket fuel that has been proven to interfere with thyroid function at low levels. The defense department is probably the single largest source of localized contamination. So, expecting the EPA (politically appointed head) to regulate the defense department (politically appointed head) is a little naive.
Industry advocates argue that the science on perchlorate is not precise enough to warrant strong — and extremely costly — remedies.
Ah, where would we be without the plutocracy-protectionary principle!