More than 75 Michigan communities formally oppose Canadian nuclear waste dump

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LANSING—In support of efforts in Lansing by state Sens. Phil Pavlov and Mike Green to halt construction of a permanent Canadian nuclear waste repository on the shores of Lake Huron, 76 Michigan communities, along with local government agencies in Canada and other U.S. states, have passed official resolutions opposing the Canadian proposal.

Members of Michigan’s congressional delegation also have joined the fight, recently offering identical U.S. House and Senate resolutions urging the Obama administration to oppose the Canadian plan.

“I applaud the dozens of local governments in Michigan that have supported our efforts to stop this dangerous proposal,” said Pavlov, R-St. Clair Township. “Local communities are overwhelmingly opposed to this proposed facility, and for good reason. Ontario Power Generation’s plan to permanently bury radioactive waste less than a mile from Lake Huron presents a critical threat to the health of the entire Great Lakes region.”

In June, the Michigan Senate unanimously approved measures designed to halt construction of the Lake Huron facility while strengthening Michigan’s protection of natural resources against radioactive waste.

One measure was Senate Resolution 151, sponsored by Sen. Mike Green, R-Mayville, which calls on President Obama, the U.S. secretary of state and Congress to formally request a binding decision from the International Joint Commission, the official organization appointed to prevent and resolve disputes over the use of the Great Lakes. SR 150 (Green) urges the Great Lakes Commission to study the impacts of the facility and take a formal position on it.

“These resolutions were mailed to the president, secretary of state and other officials in June,” Green said. “Since then, we’ve seen encouraging developments with members of Michigan’s congressional delegation also joining the fight and urging action from the Obama administration. The Great Lakes are the world’s largest supply of fresh water and must be protected.”

In September, Pavlov addressed the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission’s Deep Geologic Repository Joint Review Panel, the decision-making body for this proposal. Citing official Canadian opposition to a similar U.S. plan in the 1980s, Pavlov asked the panel to adhere to the standard their own government set for nuclear waste storage.

Although the joint review panel since closed their public comment period on Oct. 19, residents and local governments can still make their voices heard by visiting www.ProtectLakeHuron.com and signing the petition, Pavlov said.

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