I recently received enraging information and a call to action from the Nuclear Information and Resource Service to write an online (or other) letter to the Office of Management and Budget, as well as to EPA Secretary Donovan and EPA Administrator McCarthy to “reject the EPA proposal to increase allowable radioactivity in drinking water following a nuclear emergency.” Below is the related link and my response, a variation of an online letter to be edited or rewritten by the individual.
Dear Secretary Donovan and Administrator McCarthy:
I am deeply troubled to learn that the EPA has proposed to the Office of Management and Budget to allow radioactivity in drinking water dramatically higher than levels established by the Safe Drinking Water Act. I strongly urge OMB to reject this proposal. And EPA should withdraw it.
EPA has proposed these new drinking water standards for its Protective Action Guides (PAGs). The PAGs would apply to any release for which a protective action might be required.
If EPA’s new proposal were to move forward, the public could be exposed to radionuclides such as strontium-90, cesium-137, iodine-131, and plutonium-239 at levels far above current limits, without action being taken to protect them. This is unacceptable.
This is not the first time increases to the Maximum Contaminant Limits of the Safe Drinking Water Act have been proposed for PAGs; big increases were proposed in the last months of the Bush Administration but stopped during the transition to the Obama administration. Now the same forces within EPA are trying to adopt these troubling changes during the last months of the Obama administration. They have no more validity now than they did then.
Please stop these harmful proposals immediately before the public is put at further risk.