January 05, 2007

DELEGATION CALLS FOR DIVINE STRAKE MEETING IN IDAHO

Cannot support Nevada bomb test without â??appropriate input of Idahoansâ??

Washington, DC â?? The Idaho Congressional Delegation is asking federal officials to hold public information meetings in Idaho concerning proposals to conduct a bomb test in the Nevada desert. The Divine Strake test is non-nuclear, but opponents in Idaho fear the blast could stir up nuclear particles from previous tests in the 1950s downwind to residents outside the Nevada Test Site. No date for the test has been announced.â??This matter is of great importance and should only proceed with the fullest possible attention to potentially affected individuals in our state,â?? wrote Senators Mike Crapo and Larry Craig and Congressmen Mike Simpson and Bill Sali. â??While we are certainly not against the testing of weapons that may be vital to the mission of national defense, we find the procedure and timing of disclosing the details of the experiment to the public, to the exclusion of Idaho, unsatisfactory and do not support the progression of Divine Strake without the appropriate input of Idahoans to the process.â??The Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) has planned three public information sessions in Utah and Nevada in January, concerning the potential test in Nevada. The Idaho Delegation is asking the DTRA to hold a public meeting as soon as possible in Boise to gather input from Idahoans concerned about the possibility of downwind radiation and other health issues.â??Past nuclear testing at the Nevada Test Site has created mistrust, concern and confusion in Idaho. Ongoing discussions regarding health impacts and the inequity of federal compensation legislation have underscored these problems. It is incumbent on DTRA to take this opportunity to speak with and listen to Idahoans to rebuild trust and address their concerns,â?? the delegation members wrote. # # #