The Paducah Sun
The Paducah Sun
Paducah, Kentucky
Tuesday, May 01, 2001

Is energy agency like the serpent that tempted Eve?


EDITOR: Regarding the article, "DOE site's neighbors not in danger, agency reports,": When I read this article my mind went back to the book of Genesis in the Bible when Eve took a little walk in the garden by herself. The way I remember the story there was a serpent that lived right in the middle of Adam and Eve's neighborhood. They knew that this one area was a contaminated area and could be hazardous to their health, but she listened to what that lying serpent told her: that she would not surely die if she ate of this apple. We know how too late she did eat the apple and her husband did, too. Because of eating this contaminated apple, she and her family died over a period of time.

All of this story can be applied to the neighbors of the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion plant. The apples that can kill in the middle of our neighborhood are TCE's, TC-99, uranium hexafluoride gas, plutonium, and other toxic heavy metals and chemicals. The plant even said it released several tons of uranium hexafluoride gas in the first few decades of the plant's operations. Did this gas just float over our heads and bypass the neighbors of DOE? I think not. And, like Eve, we have been lied to.

My family and some of our neighbors have been tested for toxic metals and toxic chemicals, and they have been found in our bodies. So, if there is no danger from these exposures, why is there such a high rate of illiness in the west McCracken County and Ballard County area? I am talking about cancers, brain tumors, birth defects, neurological disorders, thyroid problems and the list goes on and on.

What did the ATSDR Agency base its report on? They sure didn't get it from the neighbors I have talked to.

Is this just another cover-up to make DOE look good? People had better wake up and take a look around them. If you don't have medical problems now, you eventually will because these releases and exposures have occurred over at least a 50-mile radius.

What about the workers who have worked in the places where these contaminants have been released and they have been exposed to who knows what and have not even been made aware of it? What happens when they become sick and go on disability or die due to the contamination being made when these spills and releases occur?

The contamination is there. Whether you want to believe it or not is your decision. Take a little time and attend the public meetings. The DOE says the public is satisfied because very few show up. They don't tell you that the meeting is not announced until the morning of the meeting so that many won't show up because of not hearing the time and place or because they haven't gotten off work as of the time the meeting starts. They don't want you to really know what goes on. The less you know, the better off you are.

EARNEST RAY ENGLISH

West Paducah