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Defense Department Urged To Help Clean Up Polluted Water

Mar 19, 2003 | Inland Valley Daily Bulletin Sen. Dianne Feinstein has urged the Defense Department to assist in the cleanup of the chemical perchlorate, which has been found to have leaked into ground water from some of the DOD's facilities or from some of its contractors.

The chemical perchlorate is used in the manufacturing of rocket fuel, explosives and fireworks. Its discovery has led to the closure of 22 drinking water wells in the cities of Rialto and Colton, as well as some used by Fontana Water Co. and the West San Bernardino County Water District. Nearly 300 wells have been closed statewide.

Feinstein expressed her concern at a hearing of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction.

"Perchlorate has contaminated drinking water supplies in 22 states including California, Colorado, Massachusetts and Maryland," Feinstein said. "Perchlorate can impair thyroid functioning and may affect the physical and mental development of children."

Feinstein has also recently to Administrator Christine Todd Whitman of the Environmental Protection Agency asking for her agency's help identifying those responsible for the pollution

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