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No end to Ontario's underground nuclear waste dump or resolutions against it

From The Macomb Daily

The public comment period for information and concerns regarding the underground nuclear waste dump proposed by Ontario Power Generation, for a hop, skip, and jump away from one of Michigan’s Great Lakes is now closed.

But, that has not brought an end to public opinion or the resolutions signed by opponents of the plan on both the United States and Canadian borders.

It has not passed the House or the Senate, but on March 15, a resolution was introduced by Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05) and United States Senators Gary Peters (D-MI) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI). That makes 188 resolutions against the idea.

“Permanently storing nuclear waste less than a mile from Lake Huron just doesn’t make sense and poses a great risk to our Great Lakes,” said Kildee. “From Detroit to Toronto, a growing number of people - in both the U.S. and Canada - have voiced opposition to this dangerous plan. Surely in the vast land mass that comprises Canada, there must be a better place to permanently store nuclear waste than on the shores of Lake Huron.”

“The Canadian proposal to build a permanent nuclear waste repository less than a mile from Lake Huron could cause significant, lasting damage to the Great Lakes and undermine the progress we have made cleaning up the water quality in the Great Lakes Basin,” said Peters. “President Trump and Secretary of State Tillerson should make every effort to prevent the Canadian government from moving forward with this proposal and work to find an alternative solution that does not jeopardize the health of the Great Lakes.”

“Canada is facing a critical decision that will impact generations in both our countries,” said Stabenow. “A nuclear waste spill near the Great Lakes could have a devastating impact on our health and environment and threaten our Michigan way of life. Given what is at stake, I urge our Canadian neighbors to make the right choice and shelve plans for this site once and for all.”

Dozens of other lawmakers including U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Al Franken (D-MN), and Dick Durbin (D-IL) are also original co-sponsors of the Senate resolution.

Mike Bishop (MI-08), Debbie Dingell (MI-12), David Joyce (OH-14), Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), Louise Slaughter (NY-25), Mark Pocan (WI-02), David Trott (MI-11), Jackie Walorski (IN-02), Luis Gutiérrez (IL-04), Sander Levin (MI-09), Paul Mitchell (MI-10), Brian Higgins (NY-26), Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), and John Moolenaar (MI-04) are original co-sponsors of the House resolution.

“We are pleased that US Senators Debbie Stabenow, Gary Peters and Congressman Dan Kildee continue to take strong action to oppose OPG’s nuclear waste repository that threatens the drinking water of 40 million people, and puts at risk a 6 trillion dollar Great Lakes economy,” said Beverly Fernandez, group spokeswoman for the Canada-based Stop the Great Lakes Nuclear Dump, which has more than 150,000 signatures on its petition opposing the plan.

“Water is life,” Fernandez said. “No matter what process is followed, burying radioactive waste beside the Great Lakes, the irreplaceable drinking water for 40 million people, will always be a bad idea.”

The resolution urges the President and Secretary of State to work with their counterparts to prevent a permanent nuclear waste repository from being built within the Great Lakes Basin. It further states that the U.S. and Canada should develop a safe and responsible solution for the long-term storage of nuclear waste.

-- The Associated Press contributed to this report

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