Women. Power. Peace.

Bittersweet Victories for Georgia WAND

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This past January, Georgia WAND reported success on our hard work to encourage the SRS Citizens Advisory Board to urge the Department of Energy and Savannah River Site management to refund and restart the radiological environmental monitoring in Georgia. We were encouraged by the xx to 2 vote!

However, our victories turned out to be bittersweet when the response to the SRS CAB Recommendation #317, Fund an Independent Environmental Monitoring Program in Georgia”, adopted by the Savannah River Site Citizens Advisory Board on January 17, 2014, the Department of Energy instead of moving forward with the monitoring asked the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory (SREL) to:

  1. “ Provide the Department of Energy with a recommendation on whether there is fact-based evidence to support the request for conducting additional radiological environmental monitoring in Georgia by the State of Georgia or SRS, and based on the results of this recommendation:
  2. Provide the Department of Energy with a recommendation on the potential options that could be undertaken by the Department of Energy to address the concerns of the Citizens Advisory Board and the citizens of Georgia in regard to this issue.”

The report back from the SREL,  “Technical Assessment of DOE Savannah River Site-Sponsored Radionuclide Monitoring Efforts in the Central Savannah River Area” though it did not recommend restoration of the monitoring which is disappointing to the residents in the communities – but did lead to some new encouraging recommendations by the SRS CAB.

Recommendations:

The Savannah River Site Citizens Advisory Board recommends that the Department of Energy:

  1. Give a presentation to the Facilities Disposition and Site Remediation Committee that describes the Department of Energy’s actions that are planned or being implemented to meet the recommendations in the “Technical Assessment of DOE Savannah River Site-Sponsored Radionuclide Monitoring Efforts in the Central Savannah River Area” report.
  2. Provide opportunities for the public to help implement the four actions suggested in the report to educate the public about radiological health risks. a. The first opportunity should be provided at the Citizens Advisory Board Combined Committee meeting in December 2014 or at the first meeting in 2015.
  3. The Citizens Advisory Board should be asked to identify local community leaders who could work with the Department of Energy to implement the four actions referenced above.
  4. The members of the public, who have expressed concern about radiological impacts from the Savannah River Site, should be identified and invited to participate in the development of a strategy to educate the public about radiological health risks.
  5. Add a topic to the annual work plan of the Facilities Disposition and Site Remediation Committee for 2015, and thereafter, that reviews the recommendations in the report and any new actions that the Department has taken in response to them.
  6. Explore the possibility of establishing a task force to assist with public education on radiological health risks as allowed under Section 6.2 of the Citizens Advisory Board’s Standard Operating Procedures.
  7. Make copies of the report available to the public at the Citizens Advisory Board’s meeting in January 2015.

We are thrilled to see the acknowledgement that leadership from the community is needed and are invited to participate in dialogue and educational events. Georgia WAND will continue to break down the barriers of miscommunication and to demand more transparency by the DOE. These are few, small but encouraging steps to raising voices and people over profit and business as usual and the expense of the health and environmental well being of the communities that surround SRS.

Contact Us

Georgia Women's Action for New Directions

250 Georgia Avenue
Suite 202
Atlanta, GA 30312

404-524-5999 - phone
404-524-7593 - fax

info@georgiawand.org

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