Ill. board to consider higher radium limits in drinking water

Springfield hearing set for Aug. 25, 1:30 P.M. CDT. Opponents of rule change charge Illinois EPA with wanting to pour radioactive carcinogens into rivers. Environmentalists fighting to stop policy...

CHICAGO, Aug. 24, 2004 (PRNewswire) -- The Environmental Law and Policy Center reported that final testimony on possible changes to raise the levels of radium in Illinois' drinking water will be taken by the Pollution Control Board at 1:30 p.m., Aug. 25, at the Pollution Control Board, 1021 N. Grand Ave. East, Conference Room 1244 N (First Floor), Springfield.

The entire file on this case can be found at www.ipcb.state.il.us. Then click on "Rulemakings Pending Before the Board." Finally go to the sixth item under rulemaking (R 04-021) for the entire record of this matter. You may also call the Illinois Pollution Board at (217) 524-8500. Six media articles are available by e-mail from Dobmeyer Communications.

Media availability to opposition
Albert Ettinger, Senior Staff Attorney, Environmental Law and Policy Center will be available at 12:30 P.M. in the Media Room at the Statehouse. He will state opposition to the proposed rule and answer questions.

Background on radium issue
The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency despite evidence that shows increasing radium to the levels being sought in new rulemaking authority will result in the possibility of increased bone cancer and danger to children is pushing ahead with their proposed changes.

The Sierra Club and the Illinois Environmental Law and Policy Center have raised serious questions about the rule change, noting: "In short, the Board is now being asked to change water quality standards to allow a radioactive carcinogen to be more freely discharged into Illinois waters."

Additionally there is no evidence that higher state standards are more costly or are detrimental to the people of Illinois.

In addition new methods of cleaning water of radium are being developed that will keep levels of radium at a lower level and safer for the population.

You can expect testimony that will be in direct contrast to IEPA's effort to dramatically weaken laws protecting the waterways of Illinois. In addition the weakened IEPA rule, opponents say, will clear the way for an increased the spreading of radium sludge on Illinois farm fields.

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