Tell The EPA:
Its "Protective Action Guidelines" Are Not Protective And Must be Abandoned
Strengthen Radiation Protection Standards Instead!
May 15, 2013
The threat of terrorism, nuclear power reactor disaster and other nuclear accidents looms large in the world. Governments need to plan for disaster but should also work to prevent disasters that cannot be adequately cleaned up and remediated. We should not run the risk of sacrificing enormous areas if and when nuclear contamination--deliberate, accidental or otherwise--strikes.
The Environmental Protection Agency has recently revised its "Protective Action Guidelines" (PAGs) that would be used during and following a nuclear disaster. These PAGs are basically admitting that contamination levels could be so high from such an event that they may not be able to be cleaned up to existing standards such as the drinking water contamination levels. Thus, EPA would permit unacceptably high radiation risks at each of the stages after nuclear disaster without even suggesting any steps to prevent or minimize the potential disasters.
These PAGs already have caused a public outcry. Check out this article to get an idea of what EPA officials really think about you and your safety: "Speaking at a March 12 symposium hosted by the Defense Strategies Institute, Paul Kudarauskas, of the EPA Consequence Management Advisory Team, said events like Fukushima would cause a “fundamental shift” to cleanup. U.S. residents are used to having “cleanup to perfection,” but will have to abandon their “not in my backyard” mentality in such cases, Kudarauskas said. “People are going to have to put their big boy pants on and suck it up.”
Tell the EPA to strengthen, not weaken, its PAGs and radiation protection standards generally. Act here.
EPA is, in a sense, “pre-approving” exorbitant allowable contamination levels, first for unusual and rarer events like a nuclear power reactor meltdown and explosion, but also for other more routine and potentially frequent disaster such as transport accidents, which will be more common if the major campaign to move irradiated nuclear power fuel (high level radioactive waste) from nuclear reactors to consolidated interim storage sites begins. High “acceptable” contamination and exposures for dirty bomb scenarios are being morphed into regular allowable levels with the nation’s drinking water protection first on the chopping block. Next, the EPA PAGs are shoe-horning in the publicly rejected plan to allow radioactive waste to go to regular trash and be sent to contaminate recycling supplies.
Comments on the EPA PAGs are being accepted through July 15, 2013. So there is plenty of time for you to act, and to encourage your friends, colleagues, family members, social networks and the like to comment as well.
There are two ways to comment:
1) Send an e-mail directly to EPA through NIRS site here. You will be able to edit the sample letter (which is also shown below). However, as is the case with all government rulemaking comments, your e-mail address becomes part of your comment and can be viewed.
2) Comment at the regulations.gov website here. However, you will have to write your own comments, or copy and paste the sample letter shown below.
Note: NIRS is working with other groups and will be preparing much more comprehensive comments for organizational sign-on before July 15. We will let groups know when these are ready for sign-on. In the meantime, we encourage and hope everyone will take a moment to weigh in personally!
Thanks for all you do,
Nuclear Information and Resource Service
P.S. Your activism and financial support are what make our work possible. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation here, or after you take action, and receive the gifts of both our undying gratitude and a stronger movement for a nuclear-free carbon-free future. Contributors of $35 or more will also receive a one-year subscription to our international publication, The Nuclear Monitor, delivered via e-mail.
Sample comment letter to EPA:
Docket ID No. EPA HQ-OAR-2007-0268
I oppose the EPA Protective Action Guides (PAGS) because they threaten the public with unacceptably high “allowable” radiation levels that simply do not protect us.
The PAGS admit that the amount of radioactive waste from a nuclear power disaster could be much greater than the nuclear disposal capacity in the county! So prevent the disaster instead of permitting much of that waste to be sent to regular trash, setting the precedent for doing this routinely.
Don’t use the threat of nuclear power and terrorists to justify increasing drinking water contamination thousands of times or more! Maintain or strengthen the drinking water standards. Don’t even consider reducing them so that less cleanup would be needed.
Keep, or make more protective, the action levels for doses to the thyroid (a highly radio-sensitive organ) and the skin that are already in place. The 2013 EPA PAGs do away with this protection.
Remove the automatic acceptance of very high food and water contamination levels (higher than being used in Japan after Fukushima) incorporated from 1998 Food and Drug Administration and 2008 Homeland Security PAGs.
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