Women. Power. Peace.

On the Road Again to Savannah River Site

Georgia WAND staff and members hit the road early the morning of Tuesday, January 7, 2015, fortified with coffee and treats to head over to South Carolina, crossing through Augusta's industrialized areas, to attend and testify at the January Savannah River Site's Citizens Advisory Board (SRS CAB) meeting. 1) We acknowledged the CAB's recommendation of directing SRS to work directly with Georgia communities, and 2) we continued to demand that the radiological monitoring be restored for the communities in Georgia.

Bernice Johnson-Howard testifies at Tuesday's SRS CAB meeting

Many community residents, organized by Georgia WAND, have come forward to speak before the CAB. Their powerful voices and compelling stories have made all of the difference in propelling these efforts to the forefront. We are thrilled about how well we were received at this meeting, convincing the decision-makers that there is more to be done to protect and inform the community. On Tuesday, Bernice Johnson-Howard, a Shell Bluff resident and Georgia WAND community organizer, shares her thoughts in the short video attached here.

Georgia WAND, along with coalition partners, has spent the over ten years working to develop relationships with the CAB and SRS management to elevate the voices of concerned residents who live in the areas surrounding SRS and Plant Vogtle. In the past two years, we have seen existing and new board members who join the CAB acknowledge there are issues regarding the need for environmental monitoring in Georgia. We have been encouraged by the leadership of some members to question SRS decision-making, timelines/schedules, and budgeting and clean-up prioritization.

The most recent success of this shift in the CAB andreflecting the work of Georgia WAND in the CSRA area, is the vote in Tuesday's meeting of 14-0 for the recommendation below and for Georgia WAND to be a liaison for these efforts.

GA WAND's Bernice Howard Johnson, Amanda Hill Attkisson, Becky Rafter, and CeeCee Anderson at SRS CAB meeting

GA WAND's Bernice Howard Johnson, Amanda Hill Attkisson, Becky Rafter, and CeeCee Anderson at SRS CAB meeting

As we continue to build public pressure to hold SRS to be more accountable and more transparent, we  are encouraged that through the SRS CAB recommendation, SRS management has been directed to:

  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.
  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. (Georgia WAND asked to be a liaison!)
  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. 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.

We thank all of you for your support in this critical work and we look forward to being back in the community on February 10.

For more background information on this issue - see our previous post.

Contact Us

Georgia Women's Action for New Directions

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Atlanta, GA 30312

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

info@georgiawand.org

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