The Akron Beacon Journal from Akron, Ohio on January 10, 1989 · Page 3
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The Akron Beacon Journal from Akron, Ohio · Page 3

Akron, Ohio
Issue Date:
Tuesday, January 10, 1989
Page 3
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3 Tuesday, January 10, 1989 The Beacon Journal A5 TAXPAYERS' DOLLARS AT WORK A look at the 1990 U.S budget L Glenn irate over Reagan's N By William Hershey Beacon Journal Washington Bureau Washington Sen. John Glenn, D-Ohio, a major force in trying to clean up the nation's aging nuclear weapons facilities, was critical Monday of President Reagan's spending plans for attacking massive environmental problems at the plants. He called Reagan's plan "unacceptable" and challenged President-elect George Bush to double Reagan's proposal. The budget Reagan sent to Congress calls for spending $315 million in 1990 to clean up nuclear and toxic wastes at 45 facilities, including four in Ohio. That is part of a total of about $2 billion the budget proposes for environmental, safety and health issues, and waste management at the plants. Glenn called the $315 million "a charade" and "just a token" of what is needed for the cleanup. "I understand fiscal constraints," he said. "But I also understand stark realities. And the reality is that these DOE (De-; partment of Energy) sites are an ' environmental time bomb. It's : still ticking and now it's up to Congress and the Bush administration to defuse it." ; As chairman of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, ; Glenn has taken the lead in urging cleanup efforts. He pledged to question Richard Darman, Bush's ; nominee for budget director, on ' Bush's plans for the sites when ; Darman appears before Glenn's Tests in Ohio show limited contamination Associated Press Columbus Samplings of ground water near two U.S. Department of En-. ergy plants in Ohio during the past three years showed one with limited uranium contamination and the other with none, the Ohio Health Department said Monday. Director Ronald Fletcher said contamination was limited in the area around the Fernald uranium processing plant to three off-site i wells and a cistern. More than ; 300 samples were analyzed. The Fernald plant, called the Feed Materials Production Center, is in southwest Ohio about. 18 miles northwest of Cincinnati. It is over the Great Miami River aquifer that provides water for some southwestern Ohio communities and businesses. Seven water samplings around the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant at Piketon in southern Ohio revealed no uranium contamination, Fletcher said. He said the study was conducted from March 1985 to January 1988 with the assistance of the federal agency. The Fernald study also involved 34 soil samplings, Fletcher said. "Only slightly elevated concentrations of uranium were detected in soil samples collected northeast of the center," Fletcher said. Theme of new plan: Fend for yourself Continued from page Al again Monday, anyway. Costs would go up or benefits down for boat owners, veterans with slightly disabling war injuries, commuters, air travelers, federal retirees, doctors, people who lose their jobs to foreign competition and middle-class kids who eat subsidized lunches at school. Reagan noted that even students at "high-tuition private schools can get meal subsidies" and proposed to eliminate all 40-cent lunches for kids from fami lies well above the poverty line. The costs would go up by about 26 cents unless the states or local school districts made up the difference. For the homeless, the news could be better: Reagan proposed a program under which the government would buy enough food . to provide food kitchens and food banks with 256 million meals. And for federal prisoners, Reagan called for "an aggressive prison building program" to cut overcrowding, now put at 60 per- , cent. But military veterans with service-connected injuries that give them disability ratings of 20 ' percent or less would have to look to private health insurance for . their care in veterans' hospitals. The government now pays. The 34 million Americans who ride Amtrak would have to turn elsewhere for transportation. Reagan proposed not for the first time to blow the whistle on the railroad and find a customer for its Northeast Corridor 6 I understand fiscal constraints. But I also understand stark realities. And the reality is that these DOE sites are an environmental time bomb. IJ Sen. John Glenn committee Jan. 19 for confirmation hearings. Glenn said Bush should be spending about twice as much as Reagan has proposed for the nuclear cleanup and related environmental, safety and health matters. Deputy Energy Secretary Joseph Salgado defended the Reagan administration's budget proposal on cleaning up the weapons plants. "At this particular time there is sufficient funding. It's reasonable funding," said Salgado at a press briefing. He said spending may have to be increased in future years as comprehensive cleanup plans are developed and problems are better identified. Glenn said the money proposed by Reagan will "hardly get the In addition to the soil tests at the Fernald plant, the survey also tested 25 homes and 16 other sites for radon, and 31 other sites near the plant were checked for radiation levels. Radon was found in 40 percent of the homes, but Fletcher said the data indicate the source "was the geology beneath the homes themselves." "The radiation level measurements performed by ODH did not detect the presence of any levels which would represent a threat to the health and safety of nearby residents." In November 1988, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency sampled public water supplies in 17 systems in an area 10 miles around Fernald. Those tests showed no abnormal amounts of radioactivity, Fletcher said. The Fernald plant processes and machines uranium metal ingots for use elsewhere in Energy Department reactors for the production of nuclear weapons. Neighbors contend the plant is outmoded, is polluting the air and water around it and is hazardous to workers. The Piketon plant enriches uranium for fuel in nuclear submarines and commercial nuclear power reactors. The federal government has targeted both plants for cleanup of hazardous wastes. service. It would be cheaper to hand an air or bus ticket to every Amtrak passenger, he said, than to pay a subsidy averaging $30 per passenger. Reagan called, too, for eliminating subsidies that help run subways and bus services and terminating a program that keeps air service for many small communities. Doctors would have to accept smaller fees for treating the elderly under Medicare and the poor under Medicaid. Radiologists, anesthesiologists and surgeons especially would get less. The nation's 6 million boat owners weekend sailors and commercial fishermen alike would have to buy a $25 Coast Guard decal to help defray the costs of rescues in emergencies. Home buyers would see a nearly fourfold increase in the 1 percent fee for VA loan guarantees. It would rise to 3.8 percent under Reagan's proposals. He proposed eliminating the 1990 cost-of-living increase in pensions received by federal retirees and reworking the formula under which COLA increases are granted so that the retired workers would have to absorb the first 1 percent increase in the annual cost of living. Workers who lose their jobs to foreign competition now get weekly benefits while they look for other work. Reagan proposed eliminating a program whicli he said works "to benefit one group of underemployed workers or uncompetitive firms." blueprints." He said he understands that Energy Secretary John Herrington has been "fighting very hard" with Reagan's budget officials to get money for the program. Salgado declined to discuss battles within the administration over spending levels, but credited Herrington with taking the lead in beginning cleanup activities at the sites. In a statement released by his transition office, Bush applauded Reagan's budget but said he would review it for "possible amendments after I've assumed the office of the presidency." He didn't address the nuclear weapons cleanup issue. The sites in Ohio are: the Fer-nald Materials Production Center near Cincinnati; the Portsmouth Uranium Enrichment Plant at Pi-keton; the Mound Laboratory near Dayton; and the RMI Co. Extrusion Plant at Ashtabula. All except the Ashtabula plant are considered to be among the 17 most important facilities. Detailed cleanup proposals weren't immediately available for all Ohio sites, but at Fernald the budget calls for spending $55 million next year on cleanup, compared with about $50 million this year. Last year the federal government, in a lawsuit involving neighbors of the Fernald plant, said that over the years it deliberately allowed uranium dust to be dumped and released into the air. There have been problems throughout the nuclear weapons complex. In 1987, the government closed its biggest reactor, a plu-tonium producer in Hanford, Wash., for safety reasons. At the Savannah River Plant in South Carolina, three reactors have been shut down due to safety problems and maintenance needs. The current problems at the plants are the result of nearly 40 years of neglect of environmental and safety matters, Glenn and the Reagan administration generally agree. The problem, Glenn said Mon LEGAL NOTICE The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio will hold public hearings in its Cases No 85-521-EL-COI (Phase II). IN THE MATTER OF THE INVESTIGATION INTO THE PERRY NUCLEAR POWER STATION, in accordance with the following schedule AKRON: Thursday, January 19, 1989,6:30 p.m. Ocasek Government Office Building 1st Floor Auditorium 161 South High Street Akron, Ohio 44308 YOUNGSTOWN: Thursday, January 19, 1989, 1:OOp.m. Youngstown State University Kilcawley Center, Scarlet Room Spring and Fifth Streets Youngstown. Ohio 44555 The purpose of this case is to continue the investigation of costs incurred and management decisions made during the construction of Perry Nuclear Power Plant Unit 1 to insure that ratepayers do not pay tor any imprudent or unreasonable costs incurred in connection with the project The Commission has previously reviewed costs incurred related to the construction o! the Perry Plant through March 21. 1986, the date when fuel loading began. This proceeding will review costs incurred during the period ot March 22. 1986 through November 17, 1987, the date when commercial operation ol the plant began The purpose of the local hearings is to provide en opportunity to interested members ol the public to testily in the proceeding Further information can be obtained by contacting the Public Utilities Commission ot Ohio. Jan 10 17 Turtlenecks in . ' :iAif'ir ' 'i.,.. .iiii iiiiTiiij.jii ' t i ''Jr Save on misses' and women's knit turtlenecks. Originally 1300-14.00. It's amazing what a basic knit turlleneck can do for your wararobe. With our V J V Jl J 9rat selection of colors, you can mix and match 7 witn any outfit for a new look. Solids and prints of M I M m cottonpolyester in misses' sizes SMLXL; Women's sizes 1X-3X in selected colors Misses' Sweaters (D.174), Women's Sweaters (D117) Intermediate markdowns may have been taken plant cleanup day, is that production at the plants was spurred by the fear that "the Russians are coming, the Russians are coming," and little thought was given to cleanup. Although there have been different estimates of the total cleanup costs, Glenn said it appears that it may take about $200 billion over 30 years to address all the environmental and safety problems, with about half of that going to clean up the messes already created. Besides cleaning up the plants, Living Color! Ml Hfebee's vast amounts of money are needed for installing equipment such as air filters and equipment to monitor pollution at the plants, Energy Department officials said. Glenn said the cleanup must go forward without jeopardizing the nation's ability to produce the weapons. "I don't know what I'd cut," Glenn said of getting more money for the cleanup. "I just know the need is there. I don't think it should come out of the hide of the defense budget." White Cream Navy Yellow Green Light blue Pink Peach Mint Lilac Shop today at Summit, Rolling Acres, Belden 10 to 9. i i

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