EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson toured a couple of Fresno County farms yesterday, and Sasha Khokha, KQED’s Central Valley Bureau Chief, caught up with her in a grape vineyard, asking her questions on Californians’ fear of Japanese radiation, the EPA’s review of methyl iodide, and the viability of expanded nuclear power plants.
On the radiation issue, Jackson said the government’s models of even worst-case scenarios didn’t foresee a chance of radiation levels surpassing “health-based limits.” Jackson advised those who are concerned to look at the EPA site on the emergency.
On methyl iodide, she framed the EPA’s publishing of the petition to reevaluate the controversial fumigant methyl iodide as a legal requirement, saying, “we haven’t made any decision. I’m not sure the staff are going to recommend that we need to do a full-blown re-evaluation of the science. We’ll certainly review the petition though.” (Update: Our reporter Amy Standen, however, has confirmed with an EPA spokesman that the opening up of a public comment period on methyl iodide was a decision made by the EPA, and not simply a legal requirement.)
Interview with EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson[audio:http://ww2.kqed.org/news/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2011/03/LisaJacksonEPAJapan.mp3]