BLUE RIDGE ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE LEAGUE |
PO Box 88 ~
Glendale Springs, North Carolina 28629 ~ Phone
(336) 982-2691 ~ Fax (336) 982-2954 ~ Email:
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NOVEMBER 9, 2006
Louis Zeller BREDL (336) 977-0852
Bobbie Paul WAND (678) 592-9342
SRS Neighbors and Southeast Organizations
Say: No New Bomb Plant
At a press conference today in North Augusta, SC, local residents
joined with public interest organizations to throw down a
gauntlet of opposition to federal plans for a new nuclear weapons
complex possibly to be located at the Savannah River Site. SRS
neighbors and workers joined organizations in the southeast and
the nation to spotlight public health dangers and environmental
injustice concerns if the US Department of Energy locates yet
another bomb plant at the weapons site. Speakers urged local
economic development through a real cleanup at SRS.
Front and center at the press conference was Richard Lindsay who
avers that his family was tragically impacted by poisoning at
SRS. Lindsay said, The price was too high to pay. Lives are
going to be sacrificed just as my fathers was, no matter
how many safeguards they say will be in place. He
concluded, SRS needs to be cleaned upsafelyand
not returned to the days of bomb building.
Rev. Charles Utley, the Augusta staffer for the Blue Ridge
Environmental Defense League, detailed the unjust environmental
assault which SRS wages on poor and/or minority communities in
the directly-affected neighborhoods. Utley said, The
families of subsistence fishermen are already eating contaminated
fish from the Savannah River. Our communities and our
congregations have a moral obligation to stop the new bomb plant.
Utleys co-worker Louis Zeller pointed out that neither the
SRS facility nor the federal government conducts actual tests of
the radionuclide burden which SRS neighbors carry.
At the conference, spokespeople from varied regional
organizations laid out their objections and concerns.
Downstream resident Joe Whetstone said, Those of us living
in Beaufort or Jasper County, South Carolina are consuming
tritium daily as a result of previous Savannah River Site nuclear
weapons programs. Resurrecting the nuclear arms race by adding
new weapons facilities will further endanger the Savannah River
and the people depending on it.
Bobbie Paul of the Georgia-based Womens Action for New
Directions, underlined that pollution monitoring in Georgia has
been eliminated, resulting in a see-no-evil approach by the
federal government. Paul said, WAND was founded as Womens
Action for Nuclear Disarmament in 1980. Now we must carry on that
work since our leaders are once again putting peoples lives
Environmentalists Inc, based in Columbia, SC, is concerned about
the long-term consequences of the proposed weapons complex.
Coordinator Ruth Thomas challenged, Theyre good at
making nuclear waste, but not at figuring out what to do with it.
Glenn Carroll of Nuclear Watch South summed up the
recommendations of SRS neighbors and the environmental
organizations. She said, Its time to think beyond the
bomb, to turn our nations genius and wealth towards nuclear
waste management, environmental protection, and disarmament.
National working partners supporting todays launch of the
campaign to halt nuclear weapons include the Alliance for Nuclear
Accountability and the National Religious Partnership on the
Nuclear Weapons Danger.
On October 19th the US Department of Energy published the Notice
of Intent to Prepare a Supplement to the Stockpile Stewardship
Management Programmatic Environmental Impact StatementComplex
2030 (FR vol. 71, no. 202, 61731). The purpose of the EIS is to
assess the environmental impacts of a massive reorganization of
the nuclear weapons complex. The first public scoping meting on
the EIS was held today at the North Augusta Community Center.
Further meetings will be held near atomic weapons sites in
Tennessee, Texas, Nevada, New Mexico and California with a final
hearing in Washington, DC. The written public comment period
extends through January 17, 2007.
Complex 2030, developed by the National Nuclear Security
Administration, includes the construction of new facilities to
manufacture plutonium warheads, to conduct nuclear weapons
research and development, and to consolidate nuclear materials.