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Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue
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Funding Extended for Savannah River Radiation Monitoring

Monday, May 3, 2004  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774


ATLANTA, GA - Governor Sonny Perdue announced today that the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) has reached an agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) that will extend federal funding for radiation monitoring along the Savannah River until the end of this calendar year.

"We are pleased that the U.S. Department of Energy has recognized the importance of this environmental monitoring program to the people of Georgia ," said Governor Sonny Perdue. "We look forward to working with DOE to address the long-term monitoring needs of the Savannah River .

"I want to thank EPD Director Carol Couch, Congressman Charlie Norwood, and Congressman Max Burns for their assistance to get these funds restored," added Perdue.

Discussions began early this year after the DOE announced that its grant to fund the Georgia monitoring program would not be renewed. The DOE grant provided more than $1.8 million over the past three years. The monitoring is necessary because of the potential for radioactive contamination from the DOE-operated Savannah River Site near Augusta . The EPD program monitors radiation in the Savannah River , and also conducts regular testing of groundwater, soil, sediments, crops, air, and milk.

"The new agreement provides $300,000 to fund the EPD monitoring program through December 31, 2004 . We will immediately begin work on a proposal to secure DOE funding for monitoring work in 2005 and beyond," said Georgia EPD Director Carol Couch.