January 25, 2002
Mr. Joseph Feola, Director
DEP Southeast Regional Office
Lee Park, Suite 6010
555 North Lane
Conshohocken, PA 19428
Dear Mr. Feola,
I am requesting a full on the record public hearing for the Major Permit Modification NO. 100549 at Waste Managementís Pottstown Landfill. Radiation exposure risk is a serious issue, which deserves and must have our full consideration and intensive evaluation.
As a retired radiologist, I understand the serious health threats from radiation exposures. My questions and concerns about our radiation exposures from current Pottstown Landfill gas have not been adequately addressed.
Of greatest concern is the health effects of ADDITIVE and SYNERGISTIC doses of radiation, even at very low levels, with all the other chemicals in the landfill gas. DEPís own information on ozone reveals that ozone works synergistically with radiation to enhance the cancer-causing effects of radiation. How many other chemicals cause intensified health risk factors through the cumulative and synergistic doses of radiation?
It has never been established that the low-level radiation. (permitted to go into the Pottstown Landfill for many years) has not been a major factor in the leukemia rate in the Greater Pottstown Area, (documented to be almost double that of the state). Low-level radiation has been linked with leukemia.
This major modification to the permit is not just about monitoring for radiation, although there are many issues that need to be discussed in public about the monitoring itself. It is also about legally allowing more radiation in to the landfill and in the case of Pottstown, that needs a public hearing.
DEPís own testing proves that radiation leaves the landfill in the gas and the leachate. There is no comprehensive on-going monitoring for all types of radiation either for landfill gas or leachate leaving the landfill. If you are going to allow it to go in, you need to know what is coming out to expose the public. As far as I know radiation can not be removed from the gas or leachate to protect the public. Why are we allowing any more radiation to permeate the mass of waste in our landfill when we can not control the resulting emissions?
Radiation can be extremely dangerous and harm human cells in extremely small amounts. The public deserves the right to have a public record of their concerns about radiation in our landfill, as well as written responses from our protective agency, DEP.
Fred Winter, M.D.
P.O. Box 3063
Stowe, PA 19464
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