Over 100 environmental organizations have called on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy to withdraw EPA’s controversial new Protective Action
Guides (PAGs), which would allow exposure to very high doses from radiation releases before
government would take action to protect the public.
The PAGs are intended to guide the response to nuclear power reactor accidents (like Fukushima
in Japan, Chernobyl in Ukraine and Three Mile Island in the U.S.), “dirty bomb” explosions,
radioactive releases from nuclear fuel and weapons facilities, nuclear transportation accidents,
and all other radioactive releases.
Although official estimates of health risks from radiation have gone up substantially (even higher
for women) since promulgation of the old PAGs, the new EPA guidance contemplates radically
increased “allowable” exposures in the intermediate and long-term periods after radiation
“Rather than requiring protective actions to limit public radiation exposures, EPA is now saying
it would allow the public to be exposed to doses considerably higher than ever before considered
acceptable,” said Daniel Hirsch, president of Committee to Bridge the Gap.
“Though EPA now admits radiation is even more harmful than previously thought, it is weakening
rather than tightening radiation protections,“ said Diane D’Arrigo of the Nuclear Information and
Click here to read the full letter.