The EPA is preparing to dramatically increase permissible radioactive releases in drinking water, food and soil after “radiological incidents,” according to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility.
What is termed a guidance that EPA is considering – as opposed to a regulation – does not require public airing before it’s decided upon.
EPA officials contacted today in the Atlanta and D.C. offices had no response on the issue as of 6 p.m.
The radiation guides called Protective Action Guides or PAGs are protocols for responding to radiological events ranging from nuclear power-plant accidents to dirty bombs.
Drinking water, for example, would have a huge increase in allowable public exposure to radioactivity, the group says, that would include:
A nearly 1000-fold increase in strontium-90
A 3000 to 100,000-fold hike for iodine-131
An almost 25,000 rise for nickel-63
The new radiation guidance would also allow long-term cleanup standards thousands of times more lax than anything EPA has ever before accepted, permitting doses to the public that EPA itself estimates would cause a cancer in as much as every fourth person exposed, the group says.