Savannah Riverkeeper is one of 39 environmental and peace organizations that won a landmark lawsuit against the U.S Department of Energy for failure to follow-through on adequate environmental cleanup during its 50+ years of nuclear weapons research, testing, and production. Part of this settlement was the establishment of the MTA Fund (Citizens’ Monitoring and Technical Assessment Fund), which provided $6.25 million for tribes and non-profit organizations to assess and conduct independent technical and scientific studies regarding the multitude of technical, ecological, and health issues surrounding the nation’s nuclear weapons complex.
Clark University was chosen by the non-profit peace and environmental groups as the conservator of these reports to ensure they remain available to the public in perpetuity. The unconventional election of university as conservator is an innovative example, particularly within the era of Web 1.0, of higher education as protector and provider of information through wide dissemination.
The research and reports available in this series were conducted by Savannah Riverkeeper with their allocated portion of the MTA fund.
If you have any questions or concerns please contact us at email@example.com.
Frank Carl Ph.D. and Savannah Riverkeeper
In addition to the radioactive waste for which the Savannah River Site is famous, there have been tons of potentially toxic heavy metals and thousands of gallons of organic solvents discarded on the Site, much of it in unlined ditches or in constructed depressions called seepage basins. With little containment many of these toxins have reached the groundwater and some have reached Four Mile Branch. The DOE is attempting to monitor the migration of the toxins and to slow their contamination of both the groundwater and the surface water on the Site.
Since the heavy metal contamination on the Site has not received as much attention as the radioactive contamination, the Savannah Riverkeeper has examined the migration of these metals into the mobile biosphere by analyzing heavy metal concentrations in several animal species. Comparisons have been made between animals that have been exposed to waters on the Site with animals from similar habitats but not exposed to the waters from the Site.
Results of these studies indicate that migration of the heavy metals from the Site in animal species is not currently a serious problem. However, the quantity of uncontained metals discarded on the Site and their presence in the groundwater is cause for concern. The Savannah Riverkeeper recommends that monitoring of the waters and the local biosphere be continued indefinitely or until such time as the Site is cleaned up and the metals disposed of properly.