June 19, 2020 (per consent decree)
An October 18, 2016 consent decree set deadlines for EPA to propose and finalize a perchlorate drinking water regulation. On September 15, 2017, two concurrent public notices were issued within the Federal Register by EPA related to EPA’s decision making for perchlorate. The first, Peer Review Materials to Inform the Safe Drinking Water Act Decision Making on Perchlorate, asked for comments on EPA’s draft report on the Maximum Contaminant Level Goal for Perchlorate in Drinking Water. The second request, Interim List of Perchlorate in Drinking Water Expert Peer Reviewers and Draft Peer Review Charge Questions, asked for comments related to the selection of an expert panel to review materials related to EPA’s perchlorate decision making. AMWA submitted comments regarding the peer review charge questions October 2017 and comments on the draft report in November 2017.
An External Peer Review Meeting was held January 29 and 30, 2018 for EPA’s Revised BBDR Model and Draft MCLG Approaches Report for Perchlorate in Drinking Water.
The consent decree required EPA to propose an MCL for perchlorate by October 31, 2018. EPA filed a motion August 30, 2018 requesting a 90-day extension. This extension was granted December 11 giving EPA until April 30, 2019 to propose a rule. Amidst the ongoing partial government shutdown, a standing order issued on December 27 extended deadlines by “a period of time equal to the number of calendar days between December 21, 2018, and the date the President signs into law a budget appropriation that restores Department of Justice funding.” The partial government shutdown ended January 25, 2019 giving EPA until May 28, 2019 to propose a rule.
EPA released the pre-publication for the proposal May 23, 2019 and it was published in the Federal Register June 26. EPA received an extension for the deadline to finalize a rule October 1, 2019 giving them until June 19, 2020. EPA released the pre-publication of the final rule June 18, 2020. The final rule states the agency has determined that perchlorate does not occur “with a frequency and at levels of public health concern,” and that in the judgment of the EPA Administrator, regulation of perchlorate does not present a “meaningful opportunity for health risk reduction for persons served by public water systems.”