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Public Statements

National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. CALVERT. Mr. Chair, I rise today in support of the Baca Amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act. This amendment would provide needed funds for the U.S. Geological Survey to complete a comprehensive study of perchlorate contamination in the Rialto-Colton Basin in California.

This perchlorate contamination is a direct result of U.S. Army activities in the region beginning in 1942 for the inspection, consolidation, and storage of ordnance bound for the Port of Los Angeles and the use of perchlorate salts and solvents in these activities. Perchlorate is a known toxin that impairs thyroid function and can cause a broad array of adverse health conditions.

Contamination in the ground water has been measured at 1,000 times the EPA drinking-water standard for perchlorate. And the EPA is currently involved in a massive $25 million dollar effort to clean up the contamination. However, an in depth analysis of the perchlorate plume in the basin has not yet been conducted. For the efforts of the EPA and other agencies to be ultimately successful, we must know the full scope of the problem.

The study supported by this amendment will provide much needed data regarding the extent of groundwater contamination in the Rialto-Colton Basin. This information is invaluable to providing a safe reliable water supply to the residents of the Inland Empire and to cleaning up environmental contamination 70 years in the making.

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