Georgia Women’s Action for New Directions held the Department of Energy and the Savannah River Site accountable for the past nine years of no environmental monitoring in rural Burke and Screven counties in a press conference video (below).
Founder Helen Caldicott and Bobbie Paul, Executive Director of Georgia WAND, discussed the need for environmental monitoring in Georgia, specifically near Georgia’s Plant Hatch where a pipe was recently found leaking radioactive water. While state environmental officials say the contaminated water is not a threat to the public, organizations like Georgia’s WAND are calling for action.
Caldicott called for an immediate evacuation of the people in the contaminated areas in rural Burke and Screven counties. Her colleague Paul will settle for funding to monitor the issue and report its findings to the public. If there is nothing wrong, then why should monitoring it be an issue, said Paul.
“Known by local residents as ‘the bomb plant’, SRS currently tasked with waste management, waste clean-up after reprocessing, plutonium disposition, and tritium production for nuclear weapons. It is a national Super Fund site, and has a legacy of contamination spanning back to the Cold War, which is why environmental monitoring was originally implemented there,” stated a press release from Georgia WAND.
Funding for environmental monitoring has lapsed in Georgia leaving too many unanswered questions in the minds of many residents and environmental groups like Georgia WAND. Accountability is what they want. While Caldicott’s extreme calls for action are unlikely to happen, monitoring of radiation levels is a reasonable and justifiable request from those living in Georgia’s hot zones. The ball is now in the Department of Energy’s court to provide the necessary funds.