Monday, April 13, 2015

Meeting: please everyone come to meeting: Setback Meeting





Setback Meeting : Proposed Setbacks in Pittsylvania County VA
Thursday at 3:00pm
Olde Dominion Agricultural Complex
19783 US Highway 29 South, Suite G, Chatham, VA 24531
 
Joint Meeting between the Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors and the Pittsylvania County Planning Commission to discuss Proposed Setbacks in Pittsylvania County VA
Information on Proposed New Zoning Classification (RR-A) & Subsequent Zoning Amendments to A-1 & C-1

URGENT! Pittsylvania County
To:



A meeting of the Pittsylvania County Planning Commission and the Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors is planned for TH, April 16, 3 PM at the Olde Dominion Agricultural Center on 29 N.  The agenda should be available on Monday on the county website.  One issue to be discussed is proposed setback amendments.  It is important for all citizens to be aware of this issue and attend the meeting if possible.
 
The controversial proposed setback amendments surfaced last year.  The proposed amendments would result in negative impacts to property rights, tax base, ground and surface water for Pittsylvania County.  The proposed amendment will bring land applied wastes closer to property lines and impose restrictions on homeowners for setbacks rather than on those spreading sludge and manure.
 
The issue, dropped last year, has resurfaced.  It is believed that the this issue is being driven by a minority which wants to establish a factory farming complex (processing plant, hatchery, feed mill and hundreds of chicken houses to the region.
 
Citizen's questions remain unanswered regarding economic, health, and water quality implications of the proposed amendments. The proposed amendments are attached.  Please alert your friends and neighbors in Pittsylvania County to monitor this issue.
 
It is hoped that county residents will contact their Planning Commission and Board of Supervisor representative and voice opposition to the proposed amendments.

Please contact the following: 

Board of Supervisors
Brenda H. Bowman, Chattham-Blairs District brenda.bowman@pittgov.
Elton W. Blackstock , , Staunton River District : elton.blackstock@pittgov
Jessie L. Barksdale , Banister District : jessie.barksdale@pittgov.org
Tim Barber , Tunstall District: tim.barber@pittgov.org
Jerry A. Hagerman, Callands-Gretna District : jerry.hagerman@pittgov.org
Coy E. Harville, Westover District : coy.harville@pittgov.org

James Snead, Dan River District: james.snead@pittgov.org
 

Planning Commission

MembersThe Pittsylvania County Planning Commission is composed of 7 members representing each District appointed by the Board of Supervisors and a representative from the Board.  They serve staggered 4-year terms.  Current board members as of January 6, 2014 are:



Morris Stowe, Chairman
776 Mosco Road
Axton, Virginia 24054
Home: (434) 685-7146
Work: (434) 793-5511
Tunstall 12/05/2013 – 12/04/2017

Mr. Richard Motley, Vice-Chair
796 Woodlawn Academy Drive
Chatham, Virginia 24531
Home: (434) 432-1721
Work: (434) 792-0573
Chatham-Blairs 12/01/2012 – 11/30/2016

Ms. Janet Mease
11495 West Gretna Road
Sandy Level, VA 24161
Home: (434) 927-5245
Callands-Gretna 08/01/2012 – 07/31/2016
 
Dr. Charles H. Miller, Jr.
181 Friendship Road Ext.
Chatham, Virginia 24531
Home: (434) 432-9186
Cell: (434) 489-6070
Work: (434) 836-0431
Banister 12/01/2011 – 11/30/2015

Mr. Curtis Arthur, Sr.
4964 Shula Drive
Hurt, Virginia 24563
Home: (434) 324-8055
Staunton River 11/01/2013 – 10/31/2017

Mr. Lawrence “Larry” E Welborn
3801 Old Richmond Road
Danville, VA 24540
Home: (434) 792-7507
Dan River  01/07/2013 – 12/31/2017

Mr. David Weatherford
264 Buford Road
Danville, VA 24541
Home: (434) 685-7755
Westover 03/24/2012 – 03/23/2016

Honorable Jerry A. Hagerman
376 Cedar Road
P.O. Box 149
Gretna, VA 24557
Home: (434) 656-8246
Email: jerry.hagerman@pittgov.org
Board of Supervisors Representative  01/06/2014 – 01/05/2015
 
 
 
 
  • More info about setbacks: 

Zoning change could hurt property owners

Posted: Wednesday, April 8, 2015 9:43 am
This letter is to make citizens and property owners aware of a proposal to the Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors and planning commission concerning new zoning classification and zoning amendments to include property setbacks among other things.
Meetings concerning this have been held with very little media attention. Citizens were not allowed to speak and written questions were never answered.
Land adjoining or severed from A-1 (agriculture) to be rezoned for residential dwellings shall be rezoned RR-A.
All new lots will require 2 ½ acre minimum and will have setbacks from each property line of 150 feet from the back and sides and 100 feet from the front.
Your well cannot be located closer than 100 feet from the property line without your neighbor’s written permission, which must be a recordable waiver.
Is this waiver going to release the adjacent property owner from liability of contaminating your well?
 Agricultural zoned properties are not being changed.
“Proposed Wording of the Statement of intent is as follows:
a)  It is advised that these residential building lots are located in an agricultural area. Agriculture is the primary economic activity surrounding this zoning district.
Owners, residents and other uses of property may be subjected to inconvenience or discomfort arising from agricultural operations even though conducted in accordance with best management practices and/or in accordance with existing laws and regulation of the commonwealth and the county.
Such agricultural operations may generate noise, odors, and dust; may involve the operation and disposal of manure or biosolids and the application of fertilizer, soil amendments and pesticides/herbicides.
Owners, occupants and users of land should be prepared to accept such inconveniences or discomfort as a normal and necessary aspect of living in an agricultural zoning district in a county with a strong rural character and an active agriculture sector.
b) The wording in sub-section A. a) shall be printed on all preliminary and recorded plats, presented to property owners who request a zoning classification change from A-1 to RR-A for the expressed purpose of building a rural residential dwelling and or provided to mortgagees in loan closing packets.”
Our planning commission and board of supervisors need to protect our 60,000-plus homeowners or residents who are the taxpayers that provide the tax base to run our county.
It is not reasonable asking the public to buy 2 ½ acres, which is five times the present requirements, pay five times the amount of tax and then impose a setback regulation on your property making part of your lot unusable to you.
Remember, you pay the taxes, but you can’t use it not even to store your recreational vehicle for no more than 30 days and it must be removed for at least 14 days. Who takes a two-week vacation every 30 days?
This setback proposal of 2 ½ acres is not protecting our farmland; it’s destroying farmland five times faster.
If a farmer has a 60-acre operation and has four children and wanted to give each a lot, under the new setback proposal the total amount given would be at least 10 acres, devastating the small farm.
This setback proposal will do nothing but help a few big farmers spread biosolids (city sewage waste) and liquid manure at your expense of buying a larger lot and paying more tax so they can spread this waste up to your property line.
There was a statement in the Star-Tribune on setbacks that it would not affect existing homes, which would be grandfathered.
WARNING! The document only states: All A-1 and C-1 lots with dwellings shall be grandfathered.
What about residential lots? Does changing the structures footprint with something as simple as a deck addition or handicap ramp void the grandfathered status?
Call your supervisors and tell them you don’t agree or approve of the new zoning classification RR-A on any homeowners property.
Their next unadvertised meeting to discuss these changes will be April 16 at 3 p.m. at the new ag center between the board of supervisors and the planning commission.
I hope to see concerned citizens and the media there to educate themselves and the public.
Phillip Lovelace
Gretnahttp://www.chathamstartribune.com/opinion/article_4c115598-ddf5-11e4-b70b-d341ee414d69.html#.VSu5vJ0Pc8g.facebook

Plan would destroy farmland

Phillip Lovelace | Posted: Saturday, April 11, 2015 6:00 am
To the editor:
This letter is to make the citizens and property owners aware of a proposal to the Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors and Planning Commission concerning New Zoning Classification and Zoning Amendments to include property setbacks among other things. Meetings concerning this have been held with very little media attention. Citizens were not allowed to speak and written questions were never answered.
Land adjoining or severed from A-1 (agriculture) to be rezoned for residential dwellings shall be rezoned RR-A. All new house lots will require 2½-acre minimum and will have setbacks from each property line of 150 feet from the back and sides and 100 feet from the front. Your water well cannot be located closer than 100 feet from the property line without your neighbor’s written permission, which must be a recordable waiver. Is this waiver going to release the adjacent property owner from liability of contaminating your well?
Agricultural-zoned properties are not being changed.
I think our Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors need to protect our 60,000-plus homeowners or residents who are the taxpayers that provide the tax base to run our county.
It is not reasonable to ask the public to buy 2½ acres — which is five times the present requirements — pay five times the amount of tax and then impose a setback regulation on your property making part of your lot unusable to you. Remember, you pay the taxes but you can’t use it — not even to store your recreational vehicle for no more than 30 days and it must be removed for at least 14 days. Who takes a two-week vacation every 30 days?
This setback proposal of 2½ acres is not protecting our farmland; it’s destroying farmland five times faster.
You may wonder who proposed this.
A few large farmers who want to spread biosolids and liquid manure up to your property line and have you bear the expense of setbacks Virginia requires from your home and well.
Their next unadvertised meeting to discuss these changes will be April 16 at the new Ag Center between the Board of Supervisors and the Planning Commission. Call your supervisor and tell them you do not want this ridiculous proposal!
I hope to see concerned citizens and the media there to educate themselves and the general public.
Phillip Lovelace

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Future Posting will be on pages of blogs: Poutry Processing Plant, Setbacks on Land, Keep Ban On Uranium Mining, People rights vs Gas Pipelines, Coal Ash




Comments:   Posting will be done on the pages plus just follow me on FaceBook:  Deborah Dix

It seems like the everyday person in our county we are fighting someone in our county whose greed override clean water, air and land.    I do extreme research in all my postings plus I do it because I feed it is my heart desire to protect our land, air, water and our rights.  I guess my concerns is to protect our Mother Earth  and the concerns may comes from my Native American Great Grandmother:  Moon Pleasant.

Here are the following environmental concerns and issues :
  • Poultry Industrial Farming/Processing Center:  
  •  Pipelines:  it is about people personal property rights and moving to green energy
  • Biosolids spreading:  Sludge is full of heavy metals/disease
  • Setbacks wanted by certain party so they can spread sludge
  • Keep the Ban Uranium Mining
  • Coal Ash:  move all ash ponds off our rivers and move to modern green energy


Biosolids:  No to Setbacks based on spreading of sludge
Pittsylvania County Setbacks group selects leaders :                            
Subcommittee grapples with how to balance agricultural, residential interests: 
The Agricultural Development Board is proposing that residential property owners bordering farmland be required by the county to abide by the same requirements that farmers adjoining residential dwellings must follow.
According to guidelines from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, farmers cannot operate — such as spreading biosolids or manure — within 200 feet of an occupied dwelling or within 100 feet of a well.
http://www.godanriver.com/news/pittsylvania_county/setbacks-group-selects-leaders/article_18dd57f8-87ac-11e3-8b83-001a4bcf6878.html
 
 

Supports Uranium Mining:  Pittsylvania County Farm Bureau’s stance on mining differs from statewide group:  “We feel we should be able to harvest our products and be they animal, vegetable or mineral  Another dude who raises beef cattle in Gretna, says he supports VUI’s efforts
http://www.newsadvance.com/go_dan_river/news/pittsylvania_county/pittsylvania-county-farm-bureau-s-stance-on-mining-differs-from/article_a04662f0-3e71-11e2-ae70-0019bb30f31a.html

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Meeting: Mountain Valley natural gas pipeline : Dec. 15, from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Hampton Inn on McBride Lane in Gretna.

Overall Pipeline


Meeting:  Mountain Valley natural gas pipeline :   Dec. 15, from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Hampton Inn on McBride Lane in Gretna.

Pipeline meeting planned

By TIM DAVIS
Star-Tribune Editor | Posted: Wednesday, November 19, 2014 9:22 am 

            
Pittsylvania County residents can learn more about the proposed Mountain Valley natural gas pipeline at a community open house Monday, Dec. 15, from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Hampton Inn on McBride Lane in Gretna.

The public will have an opportunity to ask questions and talk with project team members about the 300-mile pipeline.

EQT Corp. and NextEra Energy announced plans for the pipeline earlier this year and are seeking approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

The pipeline would run from Wetzel County, W. Va., through southwest Virginia to Pittsylvania County and connect with Williams’ Transcontinental Gas Pipeline Company’s compressor station in Chatham.

Estimated to cost $3 billion to $3.5 billion, the pipeline would pass through Giles, Montgomery, Roanoke, Franklin, and Pittsylvania counties.

Community meetings also are scheduled Dec. 16 at the Harvester Performance Center in Rocky Mount, Dec. 17 at Salem Civic Center, and Dec. 18 in Blacksburg.

Additional open houses will be scheduled in January 2015, the companies said.

Natalie Cox, a spokesman with EQT in Pittsburgh, Pa., said the project includes 15 to 20 miles of pipeline in the county and will affect about 120 landowners.

She said company representatives are looking forward to starting a dialogue with property owners.

“We work very hard to develop a relationship with landowners,” Cox said. “We’re here to answer their questions. We encourage a two-way dialogue.”

Cox said Mountain Valley is seeking permission to walk properties and stake the proposed pipeline route. A final route is expected next spring.

Coates Field Services in Beckley, W.Va., is doing the fieldwork. Cox said representatives carry Mountain Valley Pipeline identification.

Cox said the pipeline will use as many existing utility transmission corridors as possible and try to avoid environmentally sensitive areas.

FERC review and approval takes 10 to 12 months.

Construction of the 36-inch to 42-inch diameter steel pipeline is scheduled to begin in late 2016 and will take two years.

The pipeline, which will buried at least three feet underground, will require approximately 75 feet of permanent easement and 125 feet of total easement for temporary work space.

Property owners are entitled to fair compensation for having the pipeline on their land, and the companies said eminent domain — a legal taking of land — is a last resort.

Company officials said the pipeline will be equipped with remote-controlled shut-off valves and will be monitored 24 hours a day through EQT’s gas control center.

Scheduled to go into service in late 2018, the pipeline will deliver 2 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day from the Marcellus and Utica natural gas supplies to markets in the southeastern United States.

Chris Sherman, a representative of EQT and NextEra, outlined the pipeline project at a Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors meeting in October.

Supervisors had plenty of questions.

Westover District Supervisor Coy Harville wanted to know how many local jobs the pipeline will bring.

“I don’t hear anything where you will create jobs in Pittsylvania County,” the supervisor said.
Sherman said the pipeline is expected to create 3,000 jobs in Virginia, mostly during construction, and the companies try to use local labor when available.
Harville asked for proof.

Staunton River District Supervisor Elton Blackstock wondered whether the pipeline would supply natural gas for economic development in the county.

He suggested running the pipeline down Route 40 from Rocky Mount to Gretna and along U.S. 29 to Chatham.

Transco’s natural gas pipeline, built in the late 1940s, cuts through the heart of the county, but provides no local natural gas distribution.

“I think its paramount we don’t make the mistakes we made in the past,” Blackstock said.

“With the amount of natural gas coming in this county, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t have access. We need to hold their feet to the fire and get on top of this.”

Sherman said local access points are possible along the pipeline, especially if installed during construction.

Once the high-pressure pipeline is in operation it becomes more difficult and expensive to tap into the line, he said.

For more information, visit mountainvalleypipeline.info or call 844-MVP-Talk.
tim.davis@chathamstartribune.com
434-432-2791

https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/149c5b119422442b

Friday, December 12, 2014

Community meeting targets Mountain Valley gas pipeline: Dec. 12, from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. at El Cazador restaurant in Chatham/ Roanoke Co. supervisors oppose natural gas pipeline



 
Community meeting targets Mountain Valley gas pipeline

Posted: Wednesday, December 10, 2014 9:22 am
By SUSAN WORLEY
Star-Tribune Staff Writerchathamstartribune.com

 
Area residents interested in information about how other communities have and are dealing with natural gas pipelines have an opportunity Friday evening to hear about issues in Dickenson County.
  Michael Yates, commissioner of the revenue in Dickenson County, has a pipeline on his property and will talk about how he and the county have tried to ask the right questions, make wise decisions and support individual and county rights.

The event is scheduled, Friday, Dec. 12, from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. at El Cazador restaurant in Chatham.

Yates will share information about ordinances that help control the gas industry, benefits of a pass through tax, the importance of getting the state legislature involved, and the possibility of benefiting from a gross receipt tax.

He will also share his experience of dealing with a pipeline on a personal level.

Yates has been quoted as saying natural gas hydro-fracking is a two-edged sword.

“It is wonderful for the gas industry and the country’s need for energy, but most people who have dealt with it say they wish they had never heard or seen the gas companies,” he said.

Dickenson and Buchanan counties are reportedly the state’s two largest gas producers, but that has resulted in complaints, disputes and lawsuits.

The event is sponsored by Piedmont Residents in Defense of the Environment.

Roanoke Co. supervisors oppose natural gas pipeline


Posted: Tuesday, December 9, 2014 6:30 pm
By Duncan Adamsduncan.adams@roanoke.com981-3324roanoke.com

The joint venture that wants to build the interstate Mountain Valley Pipeline got off to a bad start this fall with members of the Roanoke County Board of Supervisors, who first learned from constituents or the news media that the natural gas pipeline’s proposed route would take it through the county.

Chairman Joe McNamara and supervisors Butch Church and Jason Peters referenced that early dearth of communication during discussion Tuesday afternoon that preceded the board’s 4-to-1 vote to pass a resolution expressing its opposition to the proposed pipeline.

The supervisors said a presentation to the board by pipeline executives in mid-October was disappointing. McNamara said pipeline officials seem to be available only after realizing that the Mountain Valley Pipeline is on the board’s agenda.
 
“Where were you the last three weeks when we were trying to get information?” McNamara asked rhetorically.
 
Although Supervisor Al Bedrosian cast the lone “no” vote, he joined his colleagues in voicing concerns about the buried pipeline’s current route, which would take it close to the Spring Hollow Reservoir, an important regional source of drinking water, as well as to Camp Roanoke and Bottom Creek.
 
Bedrosian also expressed dismay that Mountain Valley could ultimately acquire rights-of-way across reluctant property owners’ land through eminent domain.
 
But he said he voted against the resolution because he felt it was not specific enough in citing the concerns underlying the opposition it expressed. Bedrosian said he supports the right of private companies to earn a profit and noted that nearly everyone relies on an energy source that uses a fossil fuel.
 
Natalie Cox, a spokeswoman for Mountain Valley Pipeline LLC, said that the proposed pipeline’s current routing would travel “just under 10 miles” in Roanoke County.
 
Cox said about 70 property owners in Roanoke County have been contacted by a pipeline subcontractor seeking permission to survey their land for a possible route. She said about 55 percent of those property owners have granted permission. That figure compares with about 82 percent granting permission along the pipeline’s full 300-mile route, according to Mountain Valley.
 
In recent filings with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Mountain Valley, a joint venture of EQT Corp. and NextEra Energy, reported that the company is considering siting an above-ground compressor station at milepost 224, which would be within Roanoke County. Milepost 224 is about 2,000 feet from the Spring Hollow Reservoir.
 
Mike Mayo, who owns property in the vicinity of the reservoir and Camp Roanoke, attended the supervisors’ meeting. He said afterward that he has refused permission for his property to be surveyed and intends to stick to that position.
 
During the meeting Mayo sat next to Maurice Royster, manager of government relations for EQT Corp. Mayo said Royster visited his property several weeks ago and was cordial and professional during the visit.
 
Royster declined to comment after the supervisors’ vote, deferring to Cox, who was not immediately available Tuesday night.
 
Dan Crawford, group chairman of the Roanoke Group of the Sierra Club, said he was pleased by the vote.
 
“I’m delighted,” Crawford said, noting that the board’s opposition reflects its apparent understanding that the pipeline ultimately is not in the best interests of the county, the region, the state or the nation.
 
As proposed, the Mountain Valley Pipeline would travel through several counties in West Virginia and five counties in Virginia: Giles, Montgomery, Roanoke, Franklin and Pittsylvania. The pipeline would terminate at a Transco pipeline in Pittsylvania County.
 
The interstate pipeline would transport natural gas at high pressure through buried, 42-inch diameter steel pipes. The source of the natural gas would be hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, of drill wells in the Marcellus and Utica shale formations in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia.
 
If FERC approves the pipeline project, Mountain Valley would have access to eminent domain to obtain rights-of-way across private property.
 
Proponents say the pipeline would help transport abundant natural gas to markets, support conversion of coal-fired power plants to natural gas, stimulate economic development and more.
 
Opponents say the project threatens the environment, property values and safety, and lends continued support to a fossil fuel extracted via fracking, a controversial practice.
 
The company is in the early stages of seeking FERC approval. Related community open houses are set to begin Dec. 15 in Pittsylvania County. For the schedule, go to mountainvalleypipeline.info.
 
Meanwhile, Preserve Roanoke and Preserve Bent Mountain will host a “Pipeline Pushback” meeting Wednesday night to discuss tactics to oppose the pipeline. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. at the Bent Mountain Center on Tinsley Lane.

http://www.roanoke.com/news/local/roanoke_county/roanoke-co-supervisors-oppose-natural-gas-pipeline/article_a6d32794-0170-5f7c-a9bb-34e4cd089ed5.html

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Stunning Aerial Photos Show How Factory Farms Ravage the Earth

| November 28, 2014 2:59 pm
 
Industrial-grade production of livestock animals has become the norm in the U.S. with 99 percent of all farmed animals raised on giant factory farms or CAFOs (Confined Animal Feeding Operations).
 
Tascosa Feed Yard- Bushland- Texas_900
Tascosa Feedyard, Bushland, Texas. Photo credit: Mishka Henner

 
These feedlots confine thousands of animals in small spaces before they are slaughtered, leading to a litany of abuses: the confinement inflicted on the animals, the use of preventive antibiotics to control the spread of diseases in such close quarters, poor working conditions and worker abuse, destruction of rural communities, small towns and family farms, overconsumption of resources, legendary “manure lagoons” stinking up the countryside holding animal waste unsuitable for fertilizer because of the way they are raised and fed
 
Randall County Feedyard- Texas_900-1
Randall County Feedyard, Texas. Photo credit: Mishka Henner
British artist Mishka Henner, who has had a longtime fascination with the interaction of human activity and the landscape, was flying over the country looking for satellite images of oil fields when the feed lots caught his eye and he began to photograph them and learn more about them. His photos combine an abstract visual beauty with a visceral revulsion to the activities they depict.
“The feedlots are a brilliant representation of how abstract our food industry has come,” Henner told Business Insider. “It’s an efficient system for extracting the maximum yield from animals. That’s the world we live in now. We want to extract the maximum yield from everything, no matter what business you are in.”

Conorado Feeders- Dalhart- Texas_900

Seven states now have so called “ag-gag” laws which prohibit any kind of filming or recording of these farms, after videos by groups like Mercy for Animals produced an outcry of demands for laws ending the abuses of the CAFOs. Henner did not physically set foot on any of the farms, but he says he’s been warned that his photos might violate these laws and that they are one reason they have not been more widely seen. But you can find out more about his photos and purchase prints herehttp://ecowatch.com/2014/11/28/factory-farms-photos-mishka-henner/

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Monday, December 1, 2014

Radiological Hazards of Uranium Mining & Related Considerations: Canadian authorities have consistently misled Canadians



Radiological Hazards of Uranium Mining & Related Considerations:  Canadian authorities have consistently misled Canadians

Comments:  Thanks for all your hard work:  Dr. Gordon Edwards!

Friends:
The following is an abbreviated summary of a supplementary submission I sent today to the Panel investigating Uranium Mining in the province of Quebec.  It deals with the elevated lung cancer rates associated with the permissible levels of radon exposure in homes and in uranium mines in Canada.

This summary can be found at  http://ccnr.org/radon_standards_short.pdf .
The full text of the supplementary submission is at http://ccnr.org/radon_standards.pdf .

Earlier submissions to the Uranium Inquiry from Gordon Edwards and the CCNR are:

"Too Heavy A Price To Pay" -- http://ccnr.org/CCNR_BAPE_2014.pdf 

together with two slide shows:
 
Gordon Edwards.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Summary of Supplementary Submission:
 
Radon Standards should not be portrayed as “safe levels”
Canada’s regulatory standards for radon exposure, both for workers (in uranium mines) and for the public (in homes), are neither safe, nor are they as low as reasonably achievable. In fact they pose a significant risk of lung cancer for those so exposed.
 
(1) Previous standard for radon in homes: 800 Bq/m3 (becquerels per cubic metre)
As noted in the 1998 publication “Le Radon à Oka”, people living in radon-contaminated homes and exposed at Health Canada’s permissible level of exposure over an extended period of time would experience a tripling of lung cancer rates.  For smokers, the lifetime rate would go from 50  to 150 lung cancers for every 1000 people chronically exposed at that level of radon.  For non-smokers, the rate would go from 5 to 15 lung cancers per 1000.
Since that time, under pressure from provincial health authorities, Health Canada’s permissible level of exposure to radon in homes was reduced fourfold in 2007. The fact that the Canadian government would regard the previous standard as “acceptable” for so many years is an indictment of the degraded “safety culture” at the federal level when it comes to public exposures to atomic radiation.
 
(2) Current standard for radon in homes: 200 Bq/m3.
Reducing radon exposure fourfold will reduce the number of radon-caused lung cancers fourfold. So for people chronically exposed at the new permissible level of radon in homes, there would be a 50 percent increase in lung cancers.  For smokers, the rate would go from 50 to 75 lung cancers per 1000, and for non-smokers the rate would go from 5 to 7.5 lung cancers per 1000.  Altogether, the lung cancer rate in society would go from 55 per 1000 to 82.5 per 1000, if people were chronically exposed at the current permissible level of 200 Bq/m3.
This standard is far from safe, and it is far from acceptable – especially for new homes. The WHO, in recommending a limit of 100 Bq/m3 for ALL homes in 2009, made a special plea for new homes – saying that all countries should be “implementing radon prevention in building codes to reduce radon levels in homes under construction”
 
(3) Thirty Years of Inaction – The Evidence Was There in 1978
The current federal standard for radon in homes is twice as high as that now recommended by the World Health Organization. Before 2007 the federal standard was four times higher than that.  Yet the government knew 36 years ago that chronic exposure to even the present permissible levels of radon gas in homes would cause a major increase in lung cancer rates. 
In 1978, I testified at the Ontario Environmental Hearings on the proposed radon standards for new housing projects in Elliot Lake. The Ontario Ministry of Housing was at that time proposing an “acceptable” level of radon in entire subdivisions of brand-new homes being built.  This level was about 25 percent LESS than the current federal standard.
 
Using mortality figures provided by the Ministry, I demonstrated to the panel that if people were chronically exposed at the proposed radon standard, one would expect to see at least a 31 percent increase in lung cancer – that’s about 17 extra lung cancers per 1000.  So instead of 55 lung cancers per 1000 (smokers and non-smokers combined), one would see 72 lung cancers per 1000.  To me, this did not seem an acceptable standard for brand new homes.
 
A summary of my testimony can be found at http://ccnr.org/lung_cancers.html . The Panel accepted my analysis and recommended a totally independent review of the proposed radon standard for homes.  However, no such independent reassessment ever took place. 
 
The Atomic Energy Control Board (AECB) maintained that there would be no risk associated with the radon limits proposed by the Ministry of Housing.  Indeed, that same limit had earlier been promulgated by the AECB as the clean-up criterion for homes in Port Hope Ontario that had been contaminated with radioactive wastes from the Eldorado uranium refinery.
During the 1980 Royal Commission of Inquiry into Uranium Mining in British Columbia, the BC Medical Association (BCMA) was shocked by the disconnect between alarming medical data on the one hand and unfounded reassurances from the regulatory agency on the other hand. They called the AECB an agency that is “Unfit to Regulate”. See http://ccnr.org/bcma.html . 
 
“The present average allowable exposure to the public [to radon in homes] could result in 200-300 extra cases of lung cancer per 10,000 people per lifetime. In light of current knowledge, this might be considered tantamount to allowing an industrially induced and publicly sanctioned epidemic of cancer.”
 
“That the AECB consistently and seriously neglected its statutory responsibility for the regulation of uranium mines is obvious to the most casual observer.”
from the BCMA Report, “Summary of Major Points”
 The BCMA concluded that the proposed standard for radon in Elliot Lake homes would result in 20-30 additional lung cancer deaths per 1000, rather than the 17 per 1000 that I had calculated.
 
(4) The Thomas/McNeill Report, Commissioned by the AECB
Stung by the BCMA’s public criticism, AECB commissioned an independent review of the health effects of radon, radium, and other alpha-emitting materials.  They hired a McGill epidemiologist, Duncan C. Thomas, and a physicist from the University of Toronto, K.G. McNeill, and told them to use only raw data from studies of exposed populations to arrive at the best scientific estimates of cancers caused by radon, radium, and other alpha-emitting materials.
 
The Thomas/McNeill Report, entitled “Risk Estimates for the 
Health Effects of Alpha Radiation”, was published by the AECB in 1982 as INFO-0081.  They concluded that the proposed radon standard for Elliot Lake homes could increase the lifetime lung cancer risk by about 40 percent – 22 extra lung cancers per 1000.  See http://ccnr.org/thomas_report.html .
The Thomas/McNeill Report also found that if uranium miners were to work at the regulatory limit for 11 years, the number of lung cancer deaths in that group of people would double. “Our best estimate of the effect of a 50-year occupational exposure [at the maximum permissible levels] is 130 excess lung cancer deaths per 1000 . . . with a range from 60 to 250 per 1000.” 
 
If workers were to average only 1/10 of that limit in their radon exposures, then the number of excess lung cancers would also be reduced by a factor 10.  Still, the Thomas/McNeill “best estimate” would yield an increase of 13 lung cancers per 1000 miners so exposed, and their most pessimistic estimate would give 45 extra lung cancers per 1000.  
 
(5) Estimated radon-induced lung cancer deaths among uranium miners today
The CNSC has testified that under modern working conditions in the Canadian context, the radon exposures of uranium miners are so low that no “discernible” lung cancers would occur. 
The CCNR agrees that if CNSC refuses to gather health statistics on the exposed miners, or fails to update those records for many decades to come, then the excess lung cancers that will occur among these workers will surely not be discernible.  This protects the industry, but it does not protect the miners who are likely to experience at least 10 to 20 radon-induced lung cancers per 1000 workers during a 50-year working lifetime. The toll may in fact be much higher.
 
According to CNSC publication INFO-0813, the average 2006 radiation exposure for Canadian workers in underground uranium mines was 1.74 millisieverts (mSv).  If this annual exposure rate were to persist for 50 years, the cumulative average exposure for underground uranium miners would be 1.74 x 50 = 87 mSv during a 50-year working lifetime.
 
According to the finding of the Thomas/McNeill Report that level of radon exposure would cause a 40 percent increase in lung cancer incidence (77 per 1000 as opposed to 55 per 1000).
 
Conclusion
Canadian authorities have consistently misled Canadians – including uranium workers, members of the public, decision-makers and their official advisors – about the extent of the dangers of radon as well as other alpha emitting radioactive materials.  In particular, existing standards of radon exposure in homes as well as existing levels of radon exposures in uranium mines pose serious health risks to those exposed for their working lifetimes. 
 
 

Friday, November 28, 2014

Supervisor to host meeting on Mountain Valley Pipeline


Overall Pipeline

Supervisor to host meeting on Mountain Valley Pipeline

Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors member Jerry Hagerman will host a community information meeting on the proposed Mountain Valley natural gas pipeline Saturday, Nov. 29, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Gretna Volunteer Fire Department.

Hagerman, who represents the Callands-Gretna District, said Norfolk attorney Joseph T. Waldo will discuss and answer questions about landowners’ rights.

Hagerman met Waldo, who specializes in property rights and eminent domain, at a Preserve the New River Valley meeting on the pipeline in Blacksburg and invited the attorney to speak in Gretna.

“Several people have called me wanting more information about the pipeline,” Hagerman said. “A lot of the questions, I didn’t really feel qualified to answer.”

The supervisor said landowners want to know how much compensation they can expect and what their rights if they don’t want the pipeline on their property.

Hagerman said he hasn’t contacted Mountain Valley Pipeline representatives, but the company is welcome to attend the meeting.

EQT Corp. and NextEra Energy, which plan to build the 300-mile pipeline, have scheduled a community open house Monday, Dec. 15, from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Hampton Inn on McBride Lane in Gretna.

The public will have an opportunity to ask questions and talk with project team members about the pipeline.

EQT and NextEra announced plans for the pipeline earlier this year and are seeking approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

The pipeline would run from Wetzel County, W. Va., through southwest Virginia to Pittsylvania County and connect with Williams’ Transcontinental Gas Pipeline Company’s compressor station in Chatham.

Estimated to cost $3 billion to $3.5 billion, the pipeline would pass through Giles, Montgomery, Roanoke, Franklin, and Pittsylvania counties.

Community meetings also are scheduled Dec. 16 at the Harvester Performance Center in Rocky Mount, Dec. 17 at Salem Civic Center, and Dec. 18 in Blacksburg.

Additional open houses will be scheduled in January 2015, the companies said.

Natalie Cox, a spokesman with EQT in Pittsburgh, Pa., said the project includes 15 to 20 miles of pipeline in the county and will affect about 120 landowners.

For more information, visit mountainvalleypipeline.info or call 844-MVP-Talk.
tim.davis@chathamstartribune.com
http://www.chathamstartribune.com/news/article_e6a5b5b0-74b2-11e4-a5c8-c7028c37fee8.html?mode=print
434-432-2791