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Radioactive Sludge to go in Colorado Sewer


From: Adrienne Anderson 
andersa@spot.Colorado.EDU


Dear Friends:

The Metro Wastewater Reclamation District in Colorado just put out its
"permit" for the Lowry Landfill Superfund Site for "public comment", with
comments due by December 14, 1998.

 It includes as "acceptable" to discharge to the sewer system levels of
PLUTONIUM (yes, that's right, PLUTONIUM) over 150 times higher than existing
drinking water standards in Colorado.   (We know of no other state that has
an "acceptable" level of plutonium in drinking water; this policy was
denounced when it was adopted a few years ago, since independent scientists
have argued that there is NO SAFE LEVEL OF PLUTONIUM.  The allowable level
for Plutonium 238+239+240 is 24 pCi/L.  

Furthermore, the proposed permit allows for discharge of over 3 MILLION
picocuries/liter of TRITIUM, In addition, Metro says it's OK to release
Americium-241 (daughter product of plutonium, at 23), cesium-134 (12,300),
Lead-210 (11), Potassium-40, Radium 226+228 (768), Strontium-90 (1,230).
Thorium-228 (134), Thorium-230+232 (9,210), Uranium-234 (1,540), Uranium-235
(1,540), Uranium-238 (1,540). 

These are all for 10 gallons per minute discharge.  (Metro has said they
expect to dump this stuff into the sewers for at least 30 years, that's how
huge this site's contaminated groundwater problem is!)  In addition to these
radioactive compounds, many associated with nuclear waste dumping our
citizens' investigation has documented, this permit will also allow numerous
dioxin isomers and over 40 other pollutants, including most every toxic
solvent and metal you can think of, including dioxins, PCB, cadmium,
arsenic, mercury, etc. 

OUR POSITION IS THAT THIS IS MIXED RADIOACTIVE HAZARDOUS WASTE AND THAT EPA
IS COVERING UP THIS FACT TO PROTECT DOE AND ITS CONTRACTORS FROM LIABILITY.
IF THIS PROCEEDS, THE LIABILITY WILL BE PASSED ONTO THE PUBLIC BY DISPERSING
DEADLY RADIOACTIVE NUCLEAR WASTE INTO OUR FOOD SUPPLY, SINCE THEIR PLAN IS
TO CALL THIS "FERTILIZER" FOR USE ON FARMLAND IN EASTERN COLORADO GROWING
WHEAT FOR SALE TO THE COMMERCIAL FOOD DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM THROUGHOUT THE
NATION AND PERHAPS INTERNATIONALLY.

Who will be the permittees for this?  WASTE MANAGEMENT, INC.  (You know
their record of environmental crimes, price fixing, threats, etc.) with the
City and County of Denver (The OPERATOR and OWNER of the Lowry Landfill site
and the key PRP's.  Metro Wastewater is doing this to absolve itself of
liability in a secret deal as another major polluter at this same site,
where they dumped their sewage sludge for years.  Is this a conflict of
interest?

Remember, EPA says there are NO RADIONUCLIDES at this Superfund site, and
have launched an attack against those of us who have spoken against this as
"lunatics".  

Please distribute this to concerned citizens, and ask them to e-mail me if
they are interested in commenting on this plan, and I'll give you procedures
in a follow-up message this week.  

I have a pending federal Whistleblower case on this, which I filed as a
Board Director of Metro Wastewater.  Alos involved is a coalition of
farmers, sewage plant workers, environmentalists, and other concerned
citizens.  Our effort is all volunteer, to date.

THANKS, 

Adrienne Anderson
Instructor
Environmental Studies
University of Colorado at Boulder
CB 339, Boulder, Colorado 80309-0339
(303)492-4555 (message)

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