WATER and AQUIFER TESTING NECESSARY
In Nassau and Suffolk Environmentalists and Legislators Work Together
Recently, a group of environmentalists met in Oyster Bay and they were joined in their effort by a Nassau County politician calling for the restoration of funding to a stalled program critical for monitoring the region's groundwater aquifer system. The program's funding was stopped in 2010 and the United States Geological Survey was forced to interrupt collection of data about groundwater levels, salt intrusion, storm related effects on shoreline erosion and stream flow monitoring, among other things. This data can be of critical importance to water suppliers and others. It was funded temporarily last year by the Nassau Suffolk Water Commissioner's Association, but needs a reliable source of funding as the holes in the data are problematic. There is an effort underway to fully restore the funding and for the County legislature to approve a new contract negotiated by the Nassau County Department of Public Works with the USGS for around $140,000 a year. Legis. David Denenberg (D-Merrick) joined with civic and environmental groups calling for the immediate restoration of the funding.
Newsday's Jennifer Barrios wrote an article related to the funding titled "Nassau Urged to Fund Aquifer Tests". Dr. Carmine Vasile, a Patchogue resident with a doctoral degree in electrophysics, who was a former Grumman Inventor of the Year, (1992) responded to the article and sent out this comment to several media, environmental and political venues. Dr. Vasile has been a persistent and vocal critic of the the Suffolk County Water Authority, the Department of Health and other New York governmental agencies he asserts are not testing the water for certain known critical and deadly elements...including radon and other radiologicals and their long-lived radioactive daughters.
Radon is the second leading cause of cancer, next to smoking and is naturally present in the ground in certain varied concentrations, depending upon the location. In 1976 the Environmental Protection Agency enacted what is known as the Radionuclides Rule under the aegis of the Safe Drinking Water Act in order to improve public health and lower the risks of cancers due to exposure to radon and radionuclides and it has been revised since then. However, no MCL or Maximum Contamination Level has yet been set for radon or radionuclides in New York State, so there is no way to know whether or not the levels of exposure from the waterborne radionuclides exceed safe standards or not.
They haven't made the standards...so how could any level exceed non-existent standards?
Dr. Vasile's Unedited Comments Sent to Freelance Investigations:
If this program is approved we will know how deep the aquifers are, but not the concentrations of cancer-causing toxins. Since 1976, the EPA has never enforced its Radionuclides Rule and failed to set an MCL for Radon, the 2nd leading cause of lung cancer after smoking.
In fact the EPA promulgated the Radionuclides Rule under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) in 1976 and revised it in December of 2000. The revised rule became law on December 8, 2003. The Radionuclide Rule established a mandate to begin initial monitoring under state regulated monitoring plans on December 8, 2003 and to complete initial monitoring by December 31, 2007. United States Community Water Systems (CWSs)—systems serving over 15 homes or 25 persons—are regulated by the rule.
The purpose of the Radionuclide Rule is to improve public health by reducing the risk of various cancers caused by exposure to waterborne radionuclides. The Radionuclide Rule creates four categories of regulated radionuclide contaminants along with their mandatory Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCL) and recommended Maximum Contaminant Level Goals (MCLG). The MCLG is the level at which no toxicity exists. It is always zero. (Dr. Carmine Vasile Ph.D. Electrophysics )
This information was taken directly and without editing from the EPA Website:
To view it directly go to the following link.
66 FR 76708 December 7, 2000 Vol. 65, No. 236
Reducing the exposure to radionuclides in drinking water will reduce the risk of cancer. This rule will also improve public health protection by reducing exposure to all radionuclides.
The rule retains the existing MCLs for combined radium-226 and radium-228, gross alpha particle radioactivity, and beta particle and photon activity. The rule regulates uranium for the first time.
Community water systems, all size categories.
*This document provides a summary of federal drinking water requirements; to ensure full compliance, please consult the federal regulations at 40 CFR 141 and any approved state requirements.
Public Health Benefits
Implementation of the Radionuclides Rule will result in . . .
Reduced uranium exposure for 620,000 persons, protection from toxic kidney effects of uranium, and a reduced risk of cancer.
Estimated impacts of the Radionuclides Rule include . . .
Annual compliance costs of $81 million.
Only 795 systems will have to install treatment.
4mrem/yr MCL 0
Gross alpha particle
15 pCi/L MCL 0
Combined radium- 226/228
5 pCi/L MCL 0
Uranium MCL 0
**A total of 168 individual beta particle and photon emitters may be used to calculate compliance with the MCL.
Critical Deadlines & Requirements
For Drinking Water Systems
June 2000 - December 8, 2003
When allowed by the State, data collected between these dates may be eligible for use as grandfathered data (excluding beta particle and photon emitters).
December 8, 2003
Systems begin initial monitoring under State-specified monitoring plan unless the State permits use of grandfathered data.
December 31, 2007
All systems must complete initial monitoring.
December 2000 - December 2003
States work with systems to establish monitoring schedules.
December 8, 2000
States should begin to update vulnerability assessments for beta photon and particle emitters and notify systems of monitoring requirements.
EPA meets and works with States to explain new rules and requirements and to initiate adoption and implementation activities.
December 8, 2002
State submits primacy revision application to EPA. (EPA approves within 90 days.)
Gross Alpha, Combined Radium-226/228, and Uranium (1)
Beta Particle and Photon Radioactivity (1)
Four consecutive quarters of monitoring.
No monitoring required for most CWSs. Vulnerable CWSs (2) must sample for: • Gross beta: quarterly samples. • Tritium and Strontium-90: annual samples.
If the average of the initial monitoring results for each contaminant is below the detection limit: One sample every 9 years.
If the average of the initial monitoring results for each contaminant is greater than or equal to the detection limit, but less than or equal to one-half the MCL: One sample every 6 years.
If the average of the initial monitoring results for each contaminant is greater than one-half the MCL, but less than or equal to the MCL: One sample every 3 years.
If the running annual average of the gross beta particle activity minus the naturally occurring potassium-40 activity is less than or equal to 50 pCi/L: One sample every 3 years.
A system with an entry point result above the MCL must return to quarterly sampling until 4 consecutive quarterly samples are below the MCL.
If gross beta particle activity minus the naturally occurring potassium-40 activity exceeds 50 pCi/L, the system must: • Speciate as required by the State.
• Sample at the initial monitoring frequency.
(1) All samples must be collected at each entry point to the distribution system. (2) The rule also contains requirements for CWSs using waters contaminated by effluents from nuclear facilities.
Grandfathering of Data
When allowed by the State, data collected between June, 2000 and December 8, 2003 may be used to satisfy the initial monitoring requirements if samples have been collected from:
► ► ►
Each entry point to the distribution system (EPTDS). The distribution system, provided the system has a single EPTDS.
The distribution system, provided the State makes a written justification explaining why the sample is representative of all EPTDS.