Monday, January 26, 2009

I need your attention for five alert on the health of your family

I need your attention for five minutes...

...the health of your family may be at risk

Would you allow your family members to bathe in water containing a substance known to cause permanent brain damage?

What would you do if you saw a loved one about to drink water containing material proven to cause neurological damage?

Most would intervene.

Most would be angry at the situation.

Most would definitely take steps to prevent the situation from happening again.

Consider this post an alert.

Before such examples become reality the public must learn about Exelon’s plan to draw water from mines located near the Schuylkill watershed in order to supply Limerick Nuclear Power Plant and discharge back into the Schuylkill River.

Two of the most dangerous elements contained in the cocktail of residue from mines are manganese and iron, which can cause permanent brain damage and neurological damage, not only by drinking the water, but also by bathing in it.

Some estimates, I’m told, place the potential amount of manganese at 80% above safe levels and iron above 20% during the dry season, May to October, when the concentration is higher due to lower water levels in the Schuylkill.

If we have to live with a nuclear power plant in our backyards, we must demand that the facility be operated and maintained to the strictest level of safety for the hundreds of thousands who raise their families in our area.

Recently, Donna Cuthbert from Alliance For A Clean Environment contacted me and sent the following information.



I hope you will share the information below with as many people as you can. We also have copies available of the 1 hour TV show we are running this month on PCTV every Tuesday, Channel 28, 7 to 8 PM.

This is about a serious threat to water in the Schuylkill River that the Alliance For A Clean Environment has been investigating for 3 years. It appears Phoenixville, Royersford, etc. Are among the public water systems getting their public water from the Schuylkill River. Over 1 3/4 Million people from Pottstown to Philadelphia depend on this river for their water supply.

Since the beginning we worked to achieve complete independent disclosure on the harms followed by a public hearing. There has still been no independent study, but there will be a public hearing announced in the near future.

Donna Cuthbert

Below are brief summary handouts we have circulated in various locations throughout the region attempting to inform the public about this threat to the Schuylkill River. The threat can be minimized with public involvement now.

The Alliance For A Clean Environment (ACE)

Is Urging The Region’s Citizens To Help

Prevent Unnecessary Harm To Water

Contact ACE Today!

Protect Public Water (610) 326-2387

What’s At Risk?

The Schuylkill River

The Drinking Water Source

For Over 1 ¾ Million People From Pottstown to Philadelphia

Limerick Nuclear Power Plant Is Jeopardizing The Schuylkill River! How?

Massive Water Withdrawal

Extraordinary Water Use

Radioactive, Heated Discharges

What Are Potentially Harmful Consequences?

Ø Water Contamination

Ø Water Depletion

Ø Damage To Ecosystems

Ø Public Health Threats

Ø Harm To Wildlife

Without Public Participation, The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) Will Likely Approve Exelon Requests

DRBC Approval Of Exelon’s Requests Would:

Allow Increased Pollution While Reducing Safeguards

To Protect The Schuylkill River, A Vital Public Water Source, DRBC Must:

1. REQUIRE FILTRATION of Mine Water by Exelon

2. DELAY APPROVAL Until Completion Of A Comprehensive Independent Study, Followed By An On-The-Record Public Hearing.

What Will Be Further Jeopardized If DRBC Approves Exelon’s Requests?

Schuylkill River Water Quality and Ecosystems, Wildlife, Water Treatment Plant Operations, And Public Health

8 Exelon Requests To DRBC Are Listed Below:

Comments That Follow Each Are Based On ACE’s 2 Year Investigation

1. Massive Water Withdrawal From The Schuylkill River For Limerick Nuclear Power Plant Operations

56.2 Million Gallons Per Day = 20,513,000,000 Gallons Per Year

Ø Limerick Nuclear Power Plant’s extraordinary water withdrawal is depleting the public water supply.

2. Continued Discharge of Radioactive and Heated Water From Limerick Nuclear Plant
14.2 Million Gallons Per Day = 5,183,000,000 Gallons Per Year

Ø Only ¼ of Limerick’s water withdrawal is returned to the river – and that is radiated and heated.

Ø This is a major threat to Philadelphia’s water supply and quality.

3. Reduce Low-Flow Restrictions

Ø Concentrations of contaminates pumped into the river increase as flows decrease.

4. Modify Monitoring Requirements

Ø Safeguards related to Exelon’s Demonstration Project are already inadequate, with no truly independent public interest oversight.

Ø Reducing Exelon’s monitoring requirements, while allowing Exelon to increase threats is a recipe for disaster.

5. Eliminate Temperature Restrictions

Ø Temperature restrictions are an important safeguard for the health of the Schuylkill River ecosystems.

Ø Comprehensive independent monitoring is imperative before any decision is made to eliminate temperature restriction. Evidence suggests Exelon’s testing and claims must be independently verified to protect the public’s interests.

6. Continue UNFILTERED PUMPING of Over 1 Billion Gallons Each Year Of Contaminated
Wadesville Mine Water In the 6 Lowest Flow Months (May to October)

Ø Almost 6 Billion Gallons of contaminated Wadesville Mine Water were pumped into the river at 24,300 Gallons Per minute, 24 hours per day, during the 6 lowest flow months of the year, each year since 2003.

Ø There are obvious harms, a fact admitted by Exelon, stating there is “little harm”. However, after 6 years and 6 billion gallons, there has still never been a comprehensive independent study to determine the extent of harm. The testing protocol and data are controlled by those with a vested interest in the outcome.

7. More Contaminated UNFILTERED Water Added From Other Mine Pools

Ø Additive, cumulative, and synergistic harms over time from adding more and more contaminated mine water to a river that is continuously being depleted are unavoidable and could result in devastating consequences.

Ø Before allowing more mine pools to be pumped into the source of drinking water for over 1 ¾ million people, there must be a comprehensive study of what has already happened, and predictions of what could happen in the future, by an independent public interest expert.

8. Eliminate Public Participation In Future DRBC Decisions

Ø As additional contaminated unfiltered mine waters would be added to the Schuylkill River by Exelon, all future decisions would be made exclusively by the head of DRBC.

Help Stop Unnecessary Toxic Threats To the Schuylkill River!


Contact ACE – Simply Provide Your Name, Phone, E-Mail

DRBC / DEP Are Failing To Protect The Schuylkill River

Without Your Voice Threats Will Increase

Ø DRBC and DEP Legally Allow The Schuylkill River To Be Used As A Dumping Ground. It Has Already Become Highly Contaminated.

A 1997 Report Shows These Agencies Allowed The Schuylkill River To Be A Toxic Dumping Ground:

“Poisoning Our Waters; How the Government Permits Pollution”

Ø In 1997, In RECIEVING TOXIC CHEMICALS, The Schuylkill River Already Ranked 11th In The Nation.

It Could Get Worse - Toxic Threats Could Increase

At The Same Time Safeguards Would Be Minimized And Eliminated.

Without Your Voice Now, DRBC Is Likely To Approve Exelon’s Current Requests

Why? The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) Blindly
Supports And Defends Exelon’s Deliberate Contamination Of The Schuylkill River.

Contact The Alliance For A Clean Environment (ACE) For More Detailed Information
DRBC Ignores Common Sense Threats At The Public’s Expense – In Reality:

1. Harms are inevitable. Toxics continuously pumped into the river at 24,300 gallons per minute over six months with mine water do not magically disappear through dilution. DILUTION DOES NOT REMOVE TOXICS.

2. Exelon is choosing to pollute the Schuylkill River, a vital water source for 1 ¾ Million People From Pottstown to Philadelphia. Exelon can filter mine water to prevent harm. PRIOR to pumping contaminated mine water into the Schuylkill River, DRBC and DEP can and must protect the river and require Exelon to use the most effective filtration to attempt to meet “Safe Drinking Water Standards”.

3. Without A Doubt, Harms to the Schuylkill River will increase if DRBC approves Exelon’s requests. Exelon’s donations to a fund to restore the river are a deceptive tactic to buy silence and support. Donations do not negate harms caused by Exelon’s pumping of billions of gallons of contaminated mine water into the river.

4. The public’s water supply is not being protected by those with a mission and expectation to do that. DRBC and DEP are just as responsible for harms to date. They promote and defend this project and are biased. Evidence suggests they fail to provide adequate oversight.

5. DRBC can and must stop the intentional contamination of the Schuylkill River and shifting the burden of costs to the public.

Join The Region’s Residents Who Want To Protect The Schuylkill River!

Call or E-mail ACE (610) 326-2387
Leave Your Name, Phone, and E-Mail

ACE Will Update You and Notify You About The Upcoming Public Hearing This Fall


Anonymous said...

I take anything that "ACE" says with a grain of salt. They are border line environmental extremists.

There is some truth to the things they say, but they often exaggerate things to conform to their agenda.

Karen said...

Anonymous, I, personally, do not have the same impression of ACE as you do.

I have never heard anything negative regarding the group, and I base my positive opinion on their past record of fighting for the public good and the positive outcomes they have achieved.

The information they release to the public is easily verifiable by anyone willing to invest the time on research.

Lastly, we should be intensely grateful to Donna Cuthbert and the ACE organization for their dedication, hard work, and long hours involved in investigations which affect our health and the quality of life in our communities.

Anonymous said...

This is exactly the kind of nonsense that makes us so damn dependent on foreign oil. Give me a break. We need more nuclear power plants not less.

Karen said...

Anonymous, the public is best served by by having accurate information readily available regarding the risks of living near a nuclear power plant.

Aside from the obvious risks of another TMI or Chernobyl incident, or the risk of a nuclear power plant being a convenient target of terrorists, we must consider the results of many reports which indicate a higher incidence of brain tumors, leukemia, prostate, kidney, and bone cancer along with multiple myelomas, and genetic birth defects, all grave effects on workers and those living near weapons and nuclear power plants.

Here in Phoenixville we have a double whammy because we must also live with the Cromby plant upriver from us.

Coal has it's own hazards in that the plants release carbon dioxide and other greehouse gases which are suspected to cause climatic changes. They are a source of sulfur oxides and nitrogen oxides along with the little known fact that coal combustion creates naturally occuring radioactive materials, uranium and thorium adding to the background radiation burden in the area.

All of above and more is readily available on the internet and can be verified easily.

The last I checked this area doesn't receive any benefits from having a nuclear power plant in our backyard. We assume all the risks and the electricity is sold downline to other states.

What we need, Anonymous, is for the public to become more aware of the hazards of Limerick Nuclear Power Plant and others, and only action by the public will result in the correct monitoring and oversight of the plants and all possible safeguards for the public health taken by the corporations which own them.


Not if your life or the life of your family is at risk.

Anonymous said...

blah, blah, blah....the sky is falling, the sky is falling. NONSENSE!

Anonymous said...

It's not nonsense if we're drinking mine water. Let those Excelon clowns drink that crap all day if it's so yummy and safe.

Anonymous said...

To: January 30, 2009 11:51:00 AM EST....that's what the water treatment plant is for. No one is drinking untreated water. And if you are, you need your head examined. Why would treated mine water be any worse than treated sewage water, which we also drink? You prove my "sky is falling" comment by attempting to imply that we're all drinking untreated anything. NONSENSE and you're the proof.

Karen said...

Anonymous 4:48 p.m., it is my understanding that water treatment plants have scheduled tests as required by law.

Tests of this nature are expensive.

Since the Limerick facility has added mine water it contains many other elements, I'm told, among the worst of which is manganese and iron.

Although procedures may have changed since I was Utilities Chairman on Phoenixville's Borough Council, to my recollection we did not test for manganese or iron.

Specific filtering is required to remove those elements, Anonymous, and if filtering is not done by the source corporation, or the treatment plant, it is then delivered to our homes. Those elements also add to the corrosion of equipment and pipes and can result in costly repairs and replacement if not remediated.

ACE is asking for an independent study as well as filtering of the waste water by Exelon.

I cannot think of a valid reason why an examination of this health, safety, and maintenance issue would draw your ire and derrogatory comments.

I hope this post clarifies the situation for you.

Anonymous said...

Actually it clarifies nothing. If you are so concerned everyone is going to grow a second head from drinking the water, do yourself a favor and get it tested for these elements. Then when it comes back as a non issue, you can conjure up some other fantasy to justify you opposition and your sky is falling mentality. Still nonsense no matter how you try to couch your position. No ire here. Just a strong dose of education and common sense. You should try it.