Calif. Targets Cold War Rocket Pollution .c The Associated Press
RIALTO, Calif. (AP) - Gov. Gray Davis signed into law Monday two bills that would make it easier to track pollution from a toxic chemical that was used to fuel Cold War-era missiles.
Perchlorate, which has been found in water supplies in at least 22 states, has been linked to thyroid damage, though it is unclear what constitutes a dangerous level of the pollutant.
Davis signed a bill that requires users of perchlorate during the past 53 years to report its use, storage or leaks. The measure also gives water boards the authority to require owners of perchlorate facilities to provide clean drinking water when perchlorate contamination is found.
The governor also signed a bill to establish a statewide database to track contamination. It requires owners of perchlorate facilities within five miles of any public wells contaminated by the chemical to disclose cleanup work.
Perchlorate has forced the shutdown of hundreds of wells in California and it has been found in much of the lower Colorado River - the main water source for20 million people across the Southwest.
``These bills strengthen protection measures to ensure that our drinking water supplies are safe and healthy,'' said Arthur G. Baggett Jr., chairman of the state Water Resources Control Board.
California is developing a drinking water standard for perchlorate. No such state or federal standards now exist.
Here's an idea for school reform: Before passing high school, each student must "vote" in a mock election based on the current crop of politicians. Any student stupid enough to vote for someone like Gray Davis gets sent back to kindergarten to start over from the beginning.