Rep. Roberts urges Congressional Action to Oppose Canadian Nuclear Waste Site

Protecting water quality and public health should be paramount
Thursday, June 13, 2013

State Representative Sarah Roberts (D-St. Clair Shores) introduced a resolution today urging Congress to oppose Ontario Power Generation’s proposed underground nuclear waste repository in Ontario, Canada. The repository, or long-term storage site, is being proposed to store low and intermediate levels of radioactive waste less than a mile from Lake Huron’s Canadian shore and only 440 yards below lake level. Radioactive waste can remain dangerous for about 100,000 years, contaminating the surrounding area if not properly contained.

“Millions of Michigan citizens who live downstream from the proposed radioactive waste site get their drinking water from Lake Huron and Lake St. Clair,” said Roberts. “This site is dangerously risky to the public’s health and the quality of our water. I just don’t understand their logic.”

Drinking water isn’t the only thing that will be impacted. Tourism and agriculture are two of Michigan’s top industries that could also be devastated if the waste site leaks. Roughly 96 million travelers visit Michigan travel destinations each year, and Michigan’s agriculture industry adds more than $91.4 billion to the state’s economy.

A similar resolution passed by the Michigan Senate in early June urged careful review of the proposed underground nuclear waste repository in Ontario and memorialized the U.S. Congress to do all it can to see that Michigan’s concerns are fully addressed.

Rep. Roberts’s resolution would ask Congress to oppose Ontario Power Generation’s planned repository and instead seek other alternatives. The intent of the resolution is for Canada to take into consideration the concerns of Michigan and the citizens of the United States.

“Along with Canada, we have a responsibility to protect our Great Lakes water and the health of Michigan’s citizens now and for future generations,” Roberts continued.

Current Michigan law prohibits the disposal of radioactive waste of any site within 10 miles of the Great Lakes and certain other major bodies of water connected to them.