An Environmental Impact Report Must be Prepared on this Dangerous and Aging Nuclear Plant Before it’s Allowed to Keep Operating Through 2025.
The California State Lands Commission and Pacific Gas & Electric Company are willfully ignoring the dangers from increased rates of cancer and infant mortality around the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant in Avila Beach, as well as the need for an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) to investigate these and other environmental risks.
We are pressing forward in our lawsuit against the California State Lands Commission and PG&E, demanding that the Commission order an EIR to investigate significant environmental and health dangers that would result from the nuclear plant’s continued operation.
Help us fight this naked power grab with public pressure. Write, email or call your local state representative or Gov. Jerry Brown and tell them you want an EIR prepared on the environmental risks posed by Diablo Canyon. Click here to contact Gov. Brown’s office and send a message via the website.
You can also snail mail or call the Governor with your comments:
Governor Jerry Brown
c/o State Capitol, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814
We filed suit in Los Angeles Superior Court on August 2, 2016, following the June 28, 2016, decision by the State Lands Commission to extend tidewater leases that will allow Diablo Canyon to continue operating through 2025. In our petition, we allege that the Commission did not have the legal authority to exempt Diablo Canyon from an EIR as required under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). We firmly believe—and studies show—that people in adjacent communities and the marine ecosystem will be exposed to a variety of adverse environmental impacts in the eight years leading up to Diablo Canyon’s proposed closure in 2025 as the aging plant reactors become even more brittle and emit radioactive isotopes during normal operation. To adequately gauge these risks and inform the public, we are asking the court to order the Commission to void the lease extension and immediately commence preparing an EIR, as CEQA requires.
It’s hard to believe that no EIR has ever been prepared for the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant! Oral arguments for the trial are set to take place on July 11, and we strongly encourage everyone to attend this important hearing. If you are interested in attending, please email [email protected] or call our office at (805) 892-4600 to register to secure a seat on one of our buses.
Our suit maintains that the existence of any “unusual circumstances” automatically requires an EIR under CEQA, and the Diablo Canyon plant is replete with numerous “unusual circumstances,” such as: extraordinary seismic risk; adverse health impacts from continuing emissions of cancer-causing radioactive isotopes; potential adverse impacts from a terrorist attack; leakage and buildup of radioactive waste; and devastating impacts on marine life (billions of fish and other marine life have been killed and 1.5 billion more will die annually through 2025).
“A 2014 scientific report and 2016 published peer-reviewed study show that there is an increase in infant mortality and cancer around the Diablo plant, yet the Joint Opposition Trial Brief, filed herein by Respondent, State Lands Commission and PG&E on June 24 asks this Court to turn a blind eye to the requirements of CEQA,” our attorney, J. Kirk Boyd, wrote in pre-trial papers filed Monday May 22 in Los Angeles Superior Court.
The 2014 report by Joseph Mangano, an epidemiologist and expert on the health hazards from radiation contamination, found that in the decades following the opening of Diablo Canyon in the mid-1980s, San Luis Obispo devolved from being a low-cancer county to a high cancer county – certainly an “unusual circumstance” that would trigger an EIR. Another study by leading European radiation expert Dr. Christopher Busby, published in 2016 in the peer-reviewed Jacobson Journal of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, also found that a comparison of official annual infant mortality data for ZIP code areas near the plant with those inland for the 25 years from 1989 to 2012 showed “a remarkable and statistically significant 28 percent overall increase in infant mortality rates in the coast strip group relative to the inland control group.” We have asked the court to review Dr. Busby’s study.
We also think it’s important to remind the court—and the public—that PG&E was recently convicted of six felonies stemming from a blatant disregard for public health and safety following the disastrous 2010 gas explosion in San Bruno that killed eight people and destroyed a residential neighborhood due to shoddy oversight and maintenance of pipeline infrastructure. PG&E, currently on probation following the conviction, once again is ignoring public health and safety by asking the court to exempt it from the transparent, scientific analysis required by law.
The facts are clear about the dangers posed by this plant. The State Lands Commission and PG&E must be held accountable. As our attorney stated in the recently filed court papers, “Eight years is a long time to cross one’s fingers and hope that nothing happens while hundreds of thousands of lives are at risk.” Indeed.