The Alliance For A Clean Environment
To: PA DEP Public Hearing Testimony – December 16, 2002
b. Leukemia rate almost twice the state average around the Pottstown Landfill according to the PA Cancer Registry (Montgomery County Health Department Cancer Investigation reported Jan. 1998).
b. CONTINUOUS EXPOSURE to CONCENTRATIONS of “accepted” short lived radioactive isotopes from massive amounts of medical wastes will increase cancer risks where cancer is already far too high. While these isotopes break down in days, we are exposed day after day, week after week, year after year.
c. Monitoring equipment will be calibrated to background levels. Ours are too high from exposure over time to Limerick Nuclear Power Plant emissions, radon, and radiation emissions from Pottstown Landfill gas.
d. Monitoring will only be done for gamma. High levels of beta are currently documented to be in the Pottstown Landfill. If DEP will not monitor for all radiation, how could this plan possibly stop it from entering the landfill? How can DEP determine health risks from their permit?
e. While radioactive contaminated wastes would be permitted in the landfill, there is NO plan to do comprehensive continuous perimeter monitoring for radiation escaping the landfill in the gas and leachate.
f. DEP and NRC have allowed radiation to be dumped in the Pottstown Landfill for many years in spite of the fact that the permit did not allow it. We have learned that radiation can contaminate the rest of the waste and travel off site with the gas and leachate. Once the radiation is in the gas and leachate it can not be filtered out or burned off.
Most risks could be minimized by denying this permit application for the Pottstown Landfill and by requiring radiation monitors to be placed on waste trucks coming to the Pottstown Landfill as well as at the landfill.
Greater Pottstown Area residents are demanding that DEP follow its mission statement and use the Precautionary Principle to protect public health. Permitting landfills across PA to accept radioactive contaminated wastes is inexcusable,
b. not knowing what will happen from unknown amounts and kinds of continuous, additive, and synergistic CONCENTRATIONS in landfill communities as the waste stream becomes more and more radioactive; and
c. knowing that radiation in landfills can travel with the gas and leachate and can not be filtered out or burned off once it contaminates a landfill.
DEP’s Radiation Action Plan Is Unacceptable
1. DEP’s ineffective and impractical plan to deal with an ever-increasing radioactive waste stream will not protect landfill communities in PA and actually threatens to increase the risks and further jeopardize the people living around landfills.
2. DEP’s plan will help generators of radioactive wastes to dispose of their waste cheaply and avoid liability. It is unlikely waste haulers will be able to identify the source of radioactive waste unless it is clearly marked, which is highly unlikely in most instances.
3. DEP’s plan forces landfill employees to choose between a time consuming, impractical, confusing procedure to protect public health, or saving time to protect profits of the landfill.
Prevention Is The Only True Protection!
1. We want DEP to require monitoring on every waste truck coming to the Pottstown Landfill to avoid transporting radioactive contaminated wastes through our communities. That is in addition to monitors required at the landfill.
2. We want DEP to require the wealthy waste industry, which has made PA the #1 dumping ground in the nation, to provide a way to dispose of all radioactive contaminated wastes in isolated containment areas away from people, not in our 49 landfills surrounded by people already at risk.
3. Greater Pottstown Area residents are demanding that DEP say NO to Waste Management’s request to dispose of radioactive contaminated wastes at the Pottstown Landfill. We can’t afford DEP’s Radiation “UNprotection” Action Plan. In fact, we suspect there are other landfill communities who can not afford it either.
4. If DEP can not meet these requests to protect public health in our high risk community, we demand that the Pottstown Landfill be shut down. Otherwise, DEP is failing in its mission to protect our air, water, soil, and health.
P.O. Box 3063
Stowe, PA 19464
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