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Global Security Newswire

Daily News on Nuclear, Biological & Chemical Weapons, Terrorism and Related Issues

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Obama Administration to Review Disputed Radiological Cleanup Guide

The Obama administration plans to re-evaluate a controversial Environmental Protection Agency draft guide that could significantly relax requirements for decontaminating sites affected by radiological incidents such as a "dirty bomb" attack, Risk Policy Report reported yesterday (see GSN, Jan. 7).

The "new team at EPA wishes to review the scientific basis" for the draft Protective Action Guidance for Radiological Incidents, an EPA spokeswoman said. After the review, the agency would have the option of publishing the document in the Federal Register for public feedback.

Environmentalists welcomed the administration's decision to review the guide, but one source noted that a re-examination would not necessarily lead to changes in the document. Some activists also expressed concern that even a published draft of the document could help federal agencies and private firms make a case for loosening radiological decontamination requirements at Energy Department nuclear sites and elsewhere (Douglas Guarino, Risk Policy Report, Jan. 27).

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