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. A number of states have adopted perchlorate action levels. EPA, other federal agencies, states, water suppliers, and industry are addressing perchlorate contamination through a number of activities. In 2004, ITRC formed the Perchlorate Team to address technical issues associated with perchlorate remediation.
The ITRC Perchlorate Team reviewed 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 were examined. Solutions to any barriers were investigated and proposed.
The team issued an overview document in 2005 called “Perchlorate: Overview of Issues, Status, and Remedial Options (PERC-1)” and a guidance document in 2008 called “Remediation Technologies for Perchlorate Contamination in Water and Soil (PERC-2)” that provided industry, responsible parties, and state and federal environmental regulators with reliable guidance to streamline the review and approval process for perchlorate treatment technologies.