EPA’s Secret Plan to Raise Public Radiation Exposure Levels Challenged
WASHINGTON, DC, October 29, 2009 (ENS) – Public employees have filed a lawsuit demanding documents related to the U.S. EPA’s plans made “in secrecy” to allow public exposure to increased levels of radioactivity following nuclear accidents or attacks.
The lawsuit filed Wednesday by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility under the Freedom of Information Act claims that the agency “wrongfully withheld” comments submitted by EPA and other federal and state agency officials and by representatives of private corporations or trade associations to the EPA Office of Radiation and Indoor Air as it prepared its updated Protective Action Guides.
The radiation guides are protocols for responding to incidents ranging from nuclear power plant accidents to transportation spills to dirty bombs.
“The new draft standards have been promulgated in secrecy despite sharp controversy about allowing public exposure to radiation levels vastly higher than those EPA had previously deemed unacceptably dangerous,” claims PEER, a national nonprofit alliance of resource professionals employed by government agencies at the local, state and federal levels.
“EPA has bypassed open dialogue on how much radiation the public will be allowed to receive in the event of a release, and is now suppressing evidence of internal dissent on these controversial proposals,” said PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch.