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writing for godot


Written by Colleen Callan   
Wednesday, 25 October 2017 07:27

Hid Planned Exposure Levels 1,000s of Times Safe Drinking Water Act Limits


Originally posted on Dec 22, 2016


Washington, DC — In the last days of the Obama Administration, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is about to dramatically increase allowable public exposure to radioactivity to levels thousands of times above the maximum limits of the Safe Drinking Water Act, according to documents the agency surrendered in a federal lawsuit brought by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). These radical rollbacks cover the “intermediate period” following a radiation release and could last for up to several years. This plan is in its final stage of approval.


The documents indicate that the plan’s rationale is rooted in public relations, not public health. Following Japan’s Fukushima meltdown in 2011, EPA’s claims that no radioactivity could reach the U.S. at levels of concern were contradicted by its own rainwater measurements showing contamination from Fukushima throughout the U.S. well above Safe Drinking Water Act limits. In reaction, EPA prepared new limits 1000s of times higher than even the Fukushima rainwater because “EPA experienced major difficulties conveying to the public that the detected levels…were not of immediate concern for public health.”


When EPA published for public comment the proposed “Protective Action Guides,” it hid proposed new concentrations for all but four of the 110 radionuclides covered, and refused to reveal how much they were above Safe Drinking Water Act limits. It took a lawsuit to get EPA to release documents showing that –

The proposed PAGs for two radionuclides (Cobalt-60 and Calcium-45) are more than 10,000 times Safe Drinking Water Act limits. Others are hundreds or thousands of times higher.


According to EPA’s own internal analysis, some concentrations are high enough to deliver a lifetime permissible dose in a single day. Scores of other radionuclides would be allowed at levels that would produce a lifetime dose in a week or a month;


The levels proposed by the Obama EPA are higher than what the Bush EPA tried to adopt--also in its final days.


That plan was ultimately withdrawn; and the EPA hid the proposed increases from the public so as to “avoid confusion,” intending to release the higher concentrations only after the proposal was adopted. The documents also reveal that EPA’s radiation division even hid the new concentrations from other divisions of EPA that were critical of the proposal, requiring repeated efforts to get them to even be disclosed internally.


“To cover its embarrassment after being caught dissembling about Fukushima fallout on American soil, EPA is pursuing a justification for assuming a radioactive fetal position even in cases of ultra-high contamination,” stated PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch, noting that New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has called for the PAGs to be withdrawn on both public health and legal grounds. “The Safe Drinking Water Act is a federal law; it cannot be nullified or neutered by regulatory ‘guidance.’”


Despite claims of transparency, EPA solicited public comment on its plan even as it hid the bulk of the plan’s effects. Nonetheless, more than 60,000 people filed comments in opposition.


“The Dr. Strangelove wing of EPA does not want this information shared with many of its own experts, let alone the public,” added Ruch, noting that PEER had to file a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit to force release of exposure limits. “This is a matter of public health that should be promulgated in broad daylight rather than slimed through in the witching hours of a departing administration.”




This article was originally released by and was reprinted with permission by:

PEER   Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility

Ph: (202) 265-PEER (7337) • Fax: (202) 265-4192

All content © 2017 Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility

962 Wayne Ave, Suite 610, Silver Spring, MD 20910 your social media marketing partner


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+2 # DrV 2017-10-28 09:15
Dear Editor: Did you know President Trump approved an "enlightened" PAG Manual in January of 2017; after both Presidents Bush & Obama rejected PAG manuals prepared by their respective EPA Administrators. (See PAG-Notice, pp. 6498-6500, Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 12 / Thursday, January 19, 2017).
Each version is based on erroneous cancer-risk models concocted by an EPA contractor for hundreds of radionuclides, as discussed in my Objection @ and/or email to Trump’s EPA Administrator @ & FOIA to @ The latter indicates a major difference in Trump's version: it provides no scientific method approved by the National Academy of Sciences by which FEMA can calculate DRLs that will deliver annual atomic energy doses of 4, 100 or 500 mrem/yr for over 230 manmade and naturally occurring radionuclides.
These web pages include non-responsive letters by Eric Burneson P.E., Obama's Director of Standards and Risk Management Division, Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water, respectively dated: January 7, 2017, March 8, 2017 & March 27, 2017. Burneson also failed to address this simple request: “Therefore, I respectfully request that OIRA must disapprove the EPA’s 2017 PAG Manual and order the EPA and/or FEMA to make corrections based on science not politics.”
For some odd reason Trump failed to fire Obama’s Director Burneson as well as FBI Director James Comey?
+3 # John S. Browne 2017-10-31 15:40

Notice how these kinds of exceedingly important FACTS are ignored by most of the readership of RSN; and/or that most of them don't comment on such facts. "How dare anyone tell us that the continued, extremely dangerous and health threatening, fallout from 'Fu(c)k-us(-all )-hima' is a threat that ALL OF US 'supposedly' need to take notice of!" [Quickly and firmly place head(s) back in hole in the ground of avoidance and denial of such facts.] I can practically "hear" and/or "see" them saying and/or writing that there's supposedly "nothing we can do about it anyway, so I (and/or we) don't want to know about it". But there ARE things they can do to ameliorate the effects. Sure, they can't completely do anything about it; but that does NOT mean they shouldn't be taking what steps THEY CAN to protect themselves and their families from it.

For instance, they can all wear face masks every time they go outside, to protect them from breathing the much higher concentrations of radioactive dust that ARE in the air, as I've been doing for the entire past six, almost seven, years since the onset of Fukushima (which nothing sufficient has been done to mitigate and/or correct for that entire time, meaning that it is still VERY MUCH AN EXTREME THREAT to all life in the Northern Hemisphere, but particularly in North America).

So, thank you Colleen Callan for trying to get this truth out there to set people free as much as they can be concerning same. And wake up, you others!

+1 # DrV 2017-11-03 18:36
Dear Mr. Browne: The Health Assessment for the Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) @ indicates Cesium-137 (Cs-137) contamination levels are greater Than Fukushima & Chernobyl combined, yet no evacuation orders were issued. "A person standing on the #SB37A-C hot-spot would receive a dose equal to the EPA’s Evacuation Standard of 50 mSv/yr in about 17 minutes from Cs-137 alone." (Quote from: Need I say more?
+1 # John S. Browne 2017-11-04 00:44

Can't you at least "vote-up" my comment as I have yours?


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