The Environmental Protection Agency has decided against placing limits on a chemical known to cause potential brain damage in fetuses and newborns and thyroid problems in adults.

The agency won’t set limits on perchlorate, a chemical long detected in Americans drinking water.

“The move, which comes despite the fact that the EPA faces a court order to establish a national standard for the chemical compound by the end of June, marks the latest shift in a long-running fight over whether to curb the chemical used in rocket fuel,” write my colleagues Brady Dennis and Juliet Eilperin.

The chemical is also used in fireworks and other munitions, and planned restrictions on it announced by the Obama administration in 2011 were fought by the Defense Department and other military manufacturers.