Herron Requests Radiation Monitor for Bethel Area
Sends Letter Asking State's DEC to Underscore Need for Statewide Coverage
Rep. Bob Herron (D-38)
Chair, (H) EDT Com.
Co-Chair, (L) LEC Com.
Posted: March 17, 2011
(Juneau) - House Special Committee on Economic Development, Trade & Tourism Chair Rep. Bob Herron, D-Bethel, today sent a letter to the Alaska Dept. of Environmental Conservation requesting the installation of a radiation monitor in Bethel. His letter underscores the need for early detection for all Alaskans should radiation from the Japan nuclear plant events drift this far west.
While Herron noted that fallout is currently not forecasted to reach Alaska, he said it's still paramount that citizens be notified as early as possible should the need arise. "Though fallout drifting to Alaska is unlikely at this time, it is vitally important that we have a mechanism in place for detecting it as early as possible if it does reach our shores," Herron said. "An early detection system ensures that we can guard against any possible health threats and be prepared to manage any environmental and ecological repercussions stemming from radiation to ensure the safety and well-being of Alaskans and our resources."
Radiation monitors are currently located in Juneau, Anchorage and Fairbanks; 40 new monitors are being installed. In Alaska, new monitor locations include Juneau, Nome and Dutch Harbor.
Herron noted that installing a monitor in Bethel, an important regional hub in Southwest Alaska, will allow for earlier detection so that Alaska can prepare in the still unlikely event of fallout. "Bethel is well-placed in terms of geography and infrastructure for a radiation monitor," Herron said. "It's a regional hub, and a monitor there or near it will detect radiation before it spreads to the Interior or Southcentral."