Radiation releases that dramatically weaken public protections

January 21, 2009

Dear Friends,

Thanks to everyone who tried to call the White House today! Unfortunately, the White House phone system apparently isn’t ready for us….We just received the following message from our partners at CLEAN:

Due to technical difficulties at the White House — their switchboard and comment system appear to be down indefinitely–we have suspended today’s call and have been forced to reschedule our Call the White House action.

For those who attempted calls, we cannot thank you enough for your efforts, and we look forward to trying again once the White House corrects the issue.

NIRS will let you know when that call-in day is. However, we have learned of some last minute Bush administration hijinks that you can take action on today. Our friends at Committee to Bridge the Gap report that:

Just before leaving office, the Bush Administration approved new Protective Action Guides (PAGs) for radiation releases that dramatically weaken public protections.  In particular, the new PAGs would permit radioactivity in drinking water hundreds to millions of times higher than longstanding EPA standards.

The PAGs weren’t able to published in the Federal Register before Inauguration, but unless the new Obama Administration pulls them back immediately, they could be published in the next few days.
The Order issued by the White House Tuesday to suspend all rulemaking activities until the new Administration can review them might be interpreted by Bush holdovers at EPA as strictly only covering formal rulemaking.  In order to avoid rulemaking legal requirements, the Bush Administration issued these new standards as Protective Action Guides instead.  So it is critical to get EPA to immediately pull the PAGs back from the Federal Register.

Please call the EPA Administrator’s office at 202-564-4700 today and leave a message, asking that the Radiation Protective Action Guides be withdrawn immediately from publication in the Federal Register.

or contact Dan Hirsch of the Committee to Bridge the Gap at 831 336-8003

Michael Mariotte

Nuclear Information and Resource Service


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