EPA Ready to Massively Increase ‘Permissible Radioactive Release’ Guidelines
March 31st, 2011
The EPA is preparing to dramatically increase permissible radioactive releases in drinking water, food and soil after “radiological incidents,” according to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility.
The radiation guides called Protective Action Guides or PAGs are protocols for responding to radiological events ranging from nuclear power-plant accidents to dirty bombs.
Drinking water, for example, would have a huge increase in allowable public exposure to radioactivity, the group says, that would include:
A nearly 1000-fold increase in strontium-90
A 3000 to 100,000-fold hike for iodine-131
An almost 25,000 rise for nickel-63
The new radiation guidance would also allow long-term cleanup standards thousands of times more lax than anything EPA has ever before accepted, permitting doses to the public that EPA itself estimates would cause a cancer in as much as every fourth person exposed, the group says.
These relaxed standards are opposed by public health professionals inside EPA, according to documents PEER said it obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.