Palo Verde Emergency Planning
Arizona Agriculture Radiological Preparedness
If an emergency results in a release of radioactive material into the environment, you may be advised to take actions to protect your family, farm animals and agricultural products. For agricultural areas within 50 miles of the Palo Verde Generating Station (PVGS), the main goals of government officials and producers alike will be to prevent contamination of the food supply and to keep contaminated products from going to market. Emergency response organizations are prepared to quickly notify and advise the agricultural community on what actions to take in the event of a radiological emergency.
Pursuant to A.R.S. §3-107(B)(6), the Arizona Department of Agriculture Director has authority to restrict or destroy any agricultural product or foodstuff that is adulterated or contaminated as the result of an accident at a commercial nuclear generating station.
Several of the actions which may be taken to our food supply include:
• Embargo of foodstuffs, animals and other agricultural commodities
• Temporary or permanent restriction of agricultural activity
• Recommendation that animals be given stored feed only
• Restricting the movement of commodities and animals until they have been determined to be in compliance with health standards
• Requiring the decontamination or special handling of contaminated animals and other commodities
• Temporary holding of commodities from the quarantine area for testing. Only safe commodities will receive a permit for harvest and distribution. Contaminated commodities will be held on the farm
• Allowing farmers and other workers temporary access to restricted zones to provide feed and care for animals
• Inspecting vehicles coming from or passing through designated areas
The decision to recommend these protective actions will be based on the emergency conditions at PVGS, available information about the amount of radiation that has been released into the environment and consideration of the health, economic and social impact of the proposed actions. In all cases, public health and safety will be the first priority.