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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. GARY G. MILLER of California. Mr. Chair, I rise in support of the Baca amendment and I want to thank Chairman McKeon and Ranking Member Smith for their work on the underlying bill.

This amendment directs the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to conduct a study of water resources in the Rialto-Colton Basin in California.

The USGS study would look at perchlorate contamination in the area's groundwater.

Perchlorate is a rocket fuel additive that impairs thyroid function in humans--and has been found to be most harmful to women and children.

This contamination is the direct result of the area having been acquired by the United States Army in 1942 to develop an inspection, consolidation, and storage facility for weapons bound for the Port of Los Angeles.

Having lived near Rialto for decades, I am very aware of the perchlorate problem we have in our drinking water.

Currently the EPA is undertaking a $25 million dollar effort to clean up the perchlorate contamination.

In order for cleanup efforts to be successful, we must first know the full scope of the problem.

We can only gain this crucial information by conducting an extensive study.

The contamination at the Rialto site was measured at more than 1,000 times the drinking-water standard for perchlorate, according to the EPA.

Constituents of Southern California deserve to have clean drinking water for themselves, their families, and our future generations.

According to the USGS, groundwater makes up 79 percent of the available drinking water supply in the Inland Empire.

How much of this supply is polluted, we don't know; and we won't know unless the USGS does a comprehensive study!

I urge this body to join me in bringing relief to the people of the Inland Empire by supporting this amendment.

Again, I thank Representative Baca for putting forward this common sense amendment.

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