Saturday, April 11, 2015

Reinstating Independent Monitoring in Shell Bluff

Recently, the Department of Energy recommended that the Citizen’s Advisory Board formalize a liaison to help improve communications with the community, which the SRS Citizens Advisory Board (CAB) asked Georgia WAND to fill. Toward this end, Georgia WAND was instrumental in securing representatives from the Department of Energy and the Savannah River Ecology Lab to address community members concerns about environmental monitoring that is reportedly being done in the community by SRS. 

Community leaders are concerned about the adequacy of SRS's monitoring and has demanded that funding for independent, radiological monitoring be reinstated by the DOE. Robust monitoring had been conducted on the GA side of the river since 1977 and mysteriously stopped in 2003. The last data found elevated levels of Tritium, Cesium, Strontium 90, Plutonium, Cobalt 60, and Iodine 129.  

Georgia WAND Field Coordinator and Shell Bluff resident Bernice Johnson-Howard was joined by Becky Rafter, Executive Director, and Cee Cee Anderson, Board member, in hosting these representatives at a community meeting. The meeting has been organized by Reverend Charles Utley of Concerned Citizens of Shell Bluff; they were dispensing Potassium Chloride pills (Photo at the left) to local residents. Georgia WAND has been actively working with people in the Shell Bluff community who are affected by radiological contamination from SRS and Georgia Power's operating nuclear facility in the area, Plant Vogtle. 

In addition to local residents, Georgia WAND is working to inform all Georgians about how SRS, Vogtle, and other toxic industry, such as the planned Palmetto Pipeline, affect the environment.

Georgia WAND has a long-standing partnership with the Central Savannah River Area (CSRA)/Shell Bluff community and has advocated for over 10 years for the Department of Energy to reinstate radiological environmental monitoring on the Georgia side of the Savannah River Site (SRS).

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