EPA Withholds Information On Dirty Bomb Report

Douglas P. Guarino | Nextgov | February 6, 2013

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is declining to release information on a controversial federal report that could lead people living near the site of a radiological “dirty bomb” attack to face greater cancer risks than what the agency would normally allow.

The information – which includes presentations two EPA staffers made to the panel of experts that is drafting the new report – could reveal whether the officials are speaking out against their own agency’s long-held health standards, observers say. The report is expected to suggest guidelines under which as many as one in 23 people would be expected to develop cancer from long-term radiation exposure, a sharp contrast to the EPA standard of one in 10,000 in a worst-case scenario.

The panel drafting the document was organized by the private National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements with public funds provided by the Homeland Security Department. Nonetheless, the Environmental Protection Agency has rejected multiple Freedom of Information Act requests for access to the presentations...