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[GreenYes] URGENT - SB 1970 Radioactive materials to landfills and recyclers - Gov Davis is wavering on signing
Hi CRRA Board of Directors & TC Leaders, CRRA Listserve, NCRA Listserve, GRRN, CaDemocrat Listserve and Sustainable Mountain View
 
RE:  Need you to contact Gov Davis NOW - ASK HIM to SIGN SB 1970
        Sample Letter, background and can be found below

 
PLEASE FORWARD TO OTHERS

The Sierra Club Legislative Office just contacted me to say that Governor Davis is hesitant (or for some unknown reason does not want) to sign SB 1970 (Romero).  Should the Governor veto this bill, radioactive waste could be sent to municipal landfills and to recycling processors.  Signing this bill will prevent this from happening.

It is not clear when the Governor may review this legislation but the Sierra Club believes it could be as soon as the next couple of days (Sept 17-20).  It is very important that all of us contact the Governor's office and ask him to sign this very important legislation.

CRRA's Board and CRRA membership have already taken position on radioactive materials.  I've copied that position at the bottom of this email.  The waste haulers and recyclers have worked with the Sierra Club on this legislation and support this bill.  League of Calif Cities has not taken a position so it would be nice if City recycling staff contacted LCC as well as their own lobbyists to ask them to ask the Governor to sign SB 1970.

Phone calls from the public gave the Governor the support he needed to sign California's Global Warming legislation, please send this letter or at the very least call his office telling him to sign SB1970.  

Thanks,

Ann Schneider, Boardmember, Calif. Resource Recovery Association

 

Problem:

Regulators are allowing radioactive materials into consumer products and municipal landfills.   The California Department of Health Services Radiological Health Branch, using lax standards and without legislative approval, has deregulated toxic radioactive waste, allowing it to be shipped to landfills and to metal recyclers. Once this radioactive metal enters the recycling stream it could end up anywhere: radioactive spoons, earrings, belt buckets, surgical pins, IUD's. When radioactive waste is sent to regular garbage landfills, which are not designed to safely handle them, the workers, along with local communities, are put at risk without their knowledge. Radiation is known to cause cancer and birth defects.

 

Solution:

Legislation on Governor Gray Davis’s desk would correct the problems caused by radioactive deregulation.  The Radiation Safety Act, SB 1970, by Senator Gloria Romero, would restrict the disposal of radioactive material to those licensed facilities permitted to receive that particular type of radioactive waste. The bill would prohibit dumping of radioactive waste into garbage landfills, recycling contaminated metals into consumer products, and selling radioactive tools or equipment to the general public.

 

Action:

Please send a fax to Governor Davis at 916-445-4633 asking him to sign SB 1970Or if you don't have time to write/fax, call him at 916 445-2841 and press 1 to leave a message..

 

SAMPLE LETTER

 

Please sign SB 1970 (Romero)


Dear Governor Davis,

I’m writing to ask you to sign SB 1970, The Radiation Safety Act. Department of Health Services has adopted a dangerously lax standard for cleanup of contaminated radioactive sites, and then has allowed radioactive wastes from those sites to go to metal recyclers, ranches and local landfills with no notification to the communities exposed to the radiation.

The cancer risks allowed by these practices are unacceptably high. We need you to act to protect us from radioactive waste deregulation. Radioactive waste from nuclear power plants and atomic weapons facilities should be isolated from the environment in licensed and specially designed disposal facilities, not placed into intimate human contact with the entire population.

SB 1970 will require radioactive wastes to go only to facilities designed and licensed to take them. Please let me know of your position on this important bill.

 

BACKGROUND

 

Thanks to major grassroots support, SB 1970 passed the Assembly on August 29 by a vote of 50 to 27, and passed the Senate on August 30 by a vote of 21-9. Governor Davis has until September 30 to sign or veto the bill.

 

Radioactive waste generators and their allies at Dept. of Health Services are opposing the bill, so your letters are vital!

 

 

Support SB 1970 (Romero), the Radiation Safety Act, to Stop the Deregulation of Radioactive Waste.

 

Department of Health Services has adopted a dangerously lax standard for cleanup of contaminated radioactive sites, and then has allowed radioactive wastes from those sites to go to metal recyclers, ranches and local landfills with no notification to the communities exposed to the radiation.

 

DHS has allowed radioactive material from contaminated sites to be sent anywhere, as long as each shipment would produce no more than an average dose of 25 millirem/year. This dose yields an unacceptably high risk of 1 cancer for every 1000 people.

SB 1970 simply says that radioactive waste must go to facilities licensed to take it. This is important because under DHS’ policy, 170+ municipal landfills could become de facto radioactive waste dumps. They do not have the training, design, licensing, or monitoring to safely handle radioactive waste. Given that landfills and transfer stations often are located in low-income communities and communities of color, the burdens of this policy would fall disproportionately on those already faced with environmental injustice.

Although nuclear waste generators are arguing that SB 1970 broadens the definition of radioactive waste, the bill in fact uses a narrower definition than that in current law. SB 1970 carefully exempts naturally occurring radioactive materials and short-lived radioactive materials of the type that are commonly used in medicine, biotechnology and academia, as well as other materials specifically exempted by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.


Under DHS' underground policy, buildings from a reactor site could be sold for use as classrooms, as has already happened once. Buildings contaminated sufficiently to give every child four additional chest X-rays a year could become classrooms, with untold health effects.

DHS’ policy would permit radioactive metals from nuclear reactors to be sold to metal recyclers, melted down into consumer metals, and end up in everything from jewelry to spoons to zippers to children’s braces. Radioactive waste should be isolated from the environment in licensed and specially designed disposal facilities, as SB 1970 requires, not placed into intimate human contact with the entire population.

 

SB 1970 is sponsored by Sierra Club California and Committee to Bridge the Gap, and supported by Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante, Los Angeles City Council, California Labor Federation, California Nurses Association, California League of Conservation Voters, Southern California Association of Governments, Southern California Federation of Scientists, Natural Resources Defense Council, National Council of Jewish Women (Los Angeles), Gray Panthers, California Public Interest Research Group, Californians Against Waste, Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, Planning and Conservation League, Physicians for Social Responsibility (Los Angeles),  the Metals Industry Recycling Coalition, and Waste Management.

 

 

California Resource Recovery Association - - -Radioactive Waste Policy

Policy on the Practice of Releasing Low Level Radioactive Materials
 into the Recycling Stream


1. CRRA adopts a policy vehemently opposing the release of radioactive or radiation-contaminated materials into the recycling stream, no matter how slight the threat to health is judged to be.


2. CRRA underscores the requirement that the recycling stream be the foundation for a healthy and ecologically sustainable production system, not a dumping place for radiation-contaminated materials.


3. CRRA re-asserts its commitment to zero waste production systems.  Products should be designed, manufactured and used in ways that do not incorporate or pass on radiation-contamination in the first place.


4. CRRA actively opposes approval of standards or policies by any government entity allowing release of radioactive or radiation-contaminated materials into the recycling system.


5. CRRA will promote discussion and problem solving on this issue, including persuading the National Recycling Coalition and other recycling and environmental organizations to join in this opposition.


This policy was drafted for GRC by CRRA,  member, Susan Kinsella of Susan Kinsella & Associates and Conservatree, Novato, CA   415/883-6264 seek@susankinsella.com  http://www.conservatree.com

This policy was adopted by GRC on Wednesday, June 14, 2000 as a final draft to bring before the membership for comments at the Policy and Legislation Workshop on June 15 and to the CRRA Listserve and other email lists.   Comments received by July 15, 2000 will be incorporated and the final draft will be adopted at the annual conference in Sacramento, July 23-26, 2000.

 

 


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