The Environmental Protection Agency’s recent announcement that it will move to develop a new drinking-water standard for perchlorate may well lead to more work for engineering and construction firms.

In 2008, the Bush Administration concluded that perchlorate did not pose enough of a risk to compel a new water standard. But EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson told the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on Feb. 2 that new data indicates a new perchlorate standard is warranted. Jackson also said EPA would take steps toward regulating hexavalent chromium, a carcinogen.

The American Water Works Association will argue for higher, rather than lower, permissible limits of the two chemicals, says Alan Roberson, federal relations director at AWWA.