Perchlorate

For questions or additional information, contact itrc@itrcweb.org

Perchlorate (ClO4) is an inorganic compound found in solid salts of ammonium, potassium, and sodium. Perchlorate occurs naturally and can be synthesized. It dissolves easily and moves quickly in both groundwater and surface water. Most of the perchlorate manufactured in the Unites States is used as the primary ingredient of solid rocket propellant. Other uses include electroplating, manufacturing, and the production of matches, dyes, paints, and some chemical fertilizers.

Wastes from the manufacture and improper disposal of perchlorate-containing chemicals are increasingly being discovered in soil and water. Although perchlorate is currently an unregulated compound, a number of states have adopted perchlorate action levels. In addition, EPA, other federal agencies, states, water suppliers, and industry are addressing perchlorate contamination through a number of other activities. In 2004, ITRC formed the Perchlorate Team to address technical issues associated with perchlorate remediation.

The ITRC Perchlorate Team reviews new and/or innovative perchlorate remediation technologies to determine the availability and effectiveness of these technologies to reduce concentrations of perchlorate in groundwater and/or soils. In addition, the social, political, and regulatory barriers to the deployment of these technologies are examined. Solutions to any barriers are investigated and proposed. The expected outcome is that industry, responsible parties, and state and federal environmental regulators will have reliable guidance that will streamline the review and approval process for perchlorate treatment technologies. The team issued an overview document in 2005, and a guidance document is in final stages of preparation.