People's Hearing Blast SALEM NUKES
Environmentalists and local citizens held their own PEOPLE'S HEARING at the Salem Meeting House on June 10th to catalog the damage to the environment by Public Service Electric and Gas's nuclear power plants Salem 1 and 2. Citing the intake structure which sucks in 3 billion gallons of water per day to cool the reactors as a major fish killer. The activists called on the NJ DEP and the US EPA to require PSE&G to build cooling towers to reduce the intake by 95%. Cooling towers or "best technology available", were initially proposed in the 1993 permit by NJDEP, but PSE&G's wetland restoration project was accepted instead as a "special condition" of the permit. Five years later as PSE&G is seeking renewal of its discharge permit (NJPDES permit) it is claiming no adverse impact on the Delaware Estuary; instead, it is claiming that its wetlands restoration and preservation program, fish ladders, and new fish buckets at the station are "protecting and enhancing" the Estuary.
Members of the STOP THE SALEM FISH SLAUGHTER Campaign are asking EPA to intervene in this permit and enforce the CLEAN WATER ACT, section 316(b) which require " Best Technology Available" to minimize the impacts of entrainment and impingement of aquatic organisms by nuclear plants. According to the Delaware Riverkeeper Maya van Rossum, "Mitigation does not fulfill the plain language of the Clean Water Act. Mitigation does not minimize the impingement and entrainment harms being inflicted on aquatic systems. To date the mitigation experiment occurring on the Delaware at the Salem Nuclear Generating Station is failing. For the last 4 years they have continued killing Billions of fish a year and now they are also harming thousands of acres of marshland by spraying it with glyphosate only to have the targeted Phragmites return."
NJ Environmental Federation's Jane Nogaki and Sharon Finlayson gave testimony on the impropriety of the NJDEP's allowing PSE&G to spray Ten Tons of the broad spectrum herbicide glyphosate on 2500 acres of marshland in the world's largest experiment to restore favorable species like spartina. To date, the project has failed to convert pharagmites marshes to spartina in all but 250 acres, which PSE&G is claiming as their successful restoration in compliance with their permit. PSE&G's experiment is the largest application of herbicides on marshes in the world.
From the local citizens group EAGLE and from Clean Ocean Action came testimony and vivid pictures of thousands of horseshoe crabs stranded and dead at Thompson's Beach as a result of PSE&G's "salt hay farm restoration." Horeshoe crabs are important to the migration over Delaware Bay as their eggs are a major food source for migrating birds. The crab's population crash has been attributed in part to the loss of proper habitat at Thompson's Beach caused by the PSE&G project, coupled with over harvesting by fishermen.
Hearing organizers Coalition for Peace and Justice and Delaware Riverkeeper will make an official record of the People's Hearing to present to the NJ DEP, US EPA, our US Senators, Congressmen, and local officials so that they can learn the true facts about the environmental impacts of the Salem Nuclear Plants.
ACTION: Write NJ DEP Commissioner Shinn at PO Box 402, Trenton 08625 and EPA Administrator Carol Browner, USEPA, 401 M Street SW, Washington, DC 20460 and urge them to require best available technology to reduce fish and aquatic life lost at SALEM 1 and 2, not phony wetland restoration projects which don't solve the problem and could be harmful in their own right. In addition, they should authorize an independent scientific evaluation of the PSE&G permit submittal, studies and claims.
NJ citizens can also send a message to PSE&G when they choose their energy company in August. Choose the company that offers the highest percentage of energy from sustainable sources, such as solar energy, and the most environmentally responsible energy producer.
Jane Nogaki - NJ Environmental Federation - 223 Park Ave - Marlton NJ 08053 - 609-767-1110 fax - 609-768-6662
COALITION FOR PEACE AND JUSTICE / UNPLUG SALEM; 321 Barr Ave; Linwood NJ 08221
609-601-8537 / 609-889-8583 FAX or Message
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