Senator Feinstein, Rep. Baca, Local Officials Seek $50 Million for Perchlorate Contamination Cleanup in California
February 24, 2006
Rialto, CA - U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Representative Joe Baca (D-Calif.) were joined by local San Bernardino County officials today to call on Congress to pass legislation to authorize $50 million for perchlorate contamination cleanup in California.
"If we don't take action now, perchlorate contamination will make the groundwater for hundreds of thousands of people in the Inland Empire undrinkable," Senator Feinstein said. "It could put at risk the health and safety of mothers, kids, and unborn children. We've got to act now. Today, we're proposing $50 million in federal funding for cleanup efforts. We may need more. But this is a good first step."
"Cleaning up water sources in Rialto , Fontana and Colton contaminated by perchlorate has been one of my top priorities," Representative Baca said. "Senator Feinstein and I have worked to make sure that the drinking water in the Inland Empire is safe and clean - and that these communities are not overburdened with the cleanup costs."
The legislation would authorize $50 million for perchlorate contamination cleanup in California, with priority given to areas most affected by the contamination, including San Bernardino and Riverside Counties. The bill also authorizes $8 million for research and development of new, cheaper, and more efficient perchlorate cleanup technologies. The legislation was introduced by Senator Feinstein in the Senate. Companion legislation in the House was sponsored by Representative Richard Pombo (R-Calif.) and will be cosponsored by Representative Baca.
Specifically, the California Perchlorate Contamination Remediation Act would:
* Authorize $50 million in grants for cleanup and remediation of perchlorate in water sources, including groundwater wells. Grants must be 50% cost shared and the fund will be administered through the U.S. Treasury;
* Give priority for cleanup grants to California water authorities most affected by perchlorate contamination including:
o Areas within the natural watershed of the Santa Ana River, including San Bernardino and Riverside Counties,
o The Santa Clara Valley,
o The San Gabriel Valley, and
o Sacramento County; and
* Authorize $8 million for research and development of new, cheaper, and more efficient perchlorate cleanup technologies.
The bill also urges the EPA to promptly set a national drinking water standard for perchlorate.