This week, I spoke at a hearing for the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water and Power to examine my legislation H.R. 200, the Inland Empire Perchlorate Ground Water Plume Assessment Act. This legislation directs the Secretary of Interior to conduct a study of water resources and perchlorate contamination in the Inland Empire.
I am specifically urging the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to conduct a study of the Rialto-Colton water basin focused on the perchlorate contaminated plume in Rialto. (Perchlorate is a rocket fuel additive that has been found to be present at trace levels in some Inland communities. It is a volatile organic compound that is harmful to humans as it interferes with thyroid functions.)
Many families in the Inland Empire, and throughout Southern California are concerned about the quality and safety of the water they drink. My legislation calls for a much-needed USGS study of the Rialto-Colton water basin in order to find the extent of contamination, and the best solutions to cleaning up the perchlorate problem in our area. If left alone, the perchlorate-contaminated plume in Rialto could continue to travel underground -- contaminating more wells and compromising the health of more Southern California communities.
I believe that by presenting concrete research from the USGS on the Rialto-Colton water basin and perchlorate contamination, my bill can move us one step closer to finding a realistic solution to this problem. I know that local residents have already shouldered far too much of the costs associated with perchlorate cleanup. I am working to ensure that we have the knowledge and the tools necessary to help protect communities, neighborhoods, and families from harmful contamination, and provide them with clean and safe drinking water.
JOE BACA, Congressman
43rd Congressional District