|From:||Aimee Houghton <email@example.com>|
|Date:||12 Jul 1998 13:56:59|
|Subject:||Livermore Lab & Plutonium Sampling|
Plutonium Sampling Update by Marylia Kelley from Tri-Valley CAREs' July 1998 newsletter, Citizen's Watch Background: Plutonium, a dense, deadly, long-lived radioactive metal has been found in three Livermore parks above the amounts "expected" due to world-wide fallout from nuclear weapons tests. The highest levels were discovered in Big Trees Park, where concentrations measured up to 1,000 times higher than attributable to global fallout. The source of the plutonium is known to be Livermore Lab. Questions remain, however, regarding the extent of the contamination, the pathway(s) by which the plutonium traveled from the Lab to the community, whether there are other likely "hot spots" in the area and the extent to which the community gets to decide what is an "acceptable risk" for its children, among other things. Tri-Valley CAREs' long-standing efforts to bring attention to this problem received a boost when a report by state and federal health agencies recommended follow-up measures to address both the plutonium in the parks and the plutonium-contaminated sludge given to residents as a soil conditioner in the 1960s and 1970s. As our readers know, the Lab then jumped ahead of the public's ability to fully comment. Where We Are Now: Since then, we have won additional opportunities for public involvement--starting with extra time for community members to give input into the Lab's proposed sampling plan. Next, we got assurances the plan was, indeed, a "draft," and that public comments would be incorporated into a "draft final" and circulated before any plan was finalized. Through our Technical Assistance Grant with the EPA to monitor cleanup at the Lab, we were able to hire a technical advisor on sampling methods, Dr. Owen Hoffman of SENES of Oak Ridge. Too, we were also able to make his services available to the community members of the "Site Team" who are guiding the public health assessment process. (Copies of Tri-Valley CAREs' and SENES' comments are available on request.) Next Steps: DOE and the Lab plan to release a draft final sampling plan by the end of this month. The EPA will then sponsor a public meeting to discuss the plan in early August, before it is finalized and the sampling begins. (EPA has prepared a three-page fact sheet on the process, also available on request.) Marylia Kelley Tri-Valley CAREs (Communities Against a Radioactive Environment) 5720 East Ave. #116, Livermore, CA USA 94550 <www.igc.org/tvc/> is our website, currently under construction (925) 443-7148 - is our phone (925) 443-0177 - is our fax Working for peace, justice and a healthy environment since 1983, Tri-Valley CAREs has been a member of the nation-wide Alliance for Nuclear Accountability in the U.S. since 1989, and is a co-founding member of the international Abolition 2000 network for the elimination of nuclear weapons in 1995.
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