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Urge your Representative to co-sponsor nuclear emergency planning bill

May 7, 2013

The emergency planning issue for nuclear reactors is heating up in the wake of NIRS' Petition for Rulemaking to expand Emergency Planning Zones (EPZs) and a recent Government Accountability Office report warning that people outside the current 10-mile EPZs don't know what to do in the event of a nuclear accident, but likely would evacuate anyway. You can read the GAO report on our Nuclear 911 page here.

Last week, Rep. Elliott Engel (D-NY) introduced HR 1700, a common sense bill to address emergency planning issues. New York Democrats Nita Lowey and Charles Rangel, and New Jersey Rep. Donald Payne, are initial co-sponsors.
You can read this short bill here.

The bill would require the President to designate a single Federal agency to be responsible for coordinating response to a nuclear accident, and to develop clean-up standards to be applied afterwards. The bill would also effectively establish a 50-mile Emergency Planning Zone.

Currently, several government agencies have a role in emergency planning and evacuation, with no clear-cut agency in charge. And the provision about establishing clean-up standards is a jab at the EPA, which recently released draft guidance that drastically relaxes such standards.

Please take a moment to send a quick letter to your Representative, asking him/her to co-sponsor HR 1700. The more co-sponsors we can get, the greater the chance this bill could move--there is no reason this need be seen as a partisan issue.

It should probably go without saying, but emergency planning improvements are obviously not a substitute for nuclear reactor shutdowns. However, as long as reactors are still operating, all of us deserve the best possible emergency response. Right now, we're not getting it. Your actions will help move our nation in the right direction.

Notes: You must have a U.S. address to participate in this action. If your Representative is one of the lead sponsors (Engel, Lowey, Rangel or Payne), please edit the sample letter to thank them for being a lead sponsor. Please use the icons at the top right to share this action page on Facebook, Twitter, via e-mail, etc. before sending your letter.