Here in Michigan, more than anywhere else in the nation, we value and respect our incredible "Pure Michigan" environment - especially the Great Lakes.
Lake Huron is a treasure and a centerpiece of both our lifestyles and our economy. And it is a major part of what makes living in the Thumb so great.
That's why we were all so shocked when a Canadian company recently made the unilateral - and dangerous
- decision to bury over 7 million cubic feet of nuclear waste less than one-quarter of a mile from the shores of Lake Huron, and directly across the lake from residents of St. Clair, Sanilac and Huron Counties.
I wanted to write briefly today to tell you about the important steps I have taken to stop this dangerous plan before it goes into effect.
According to reports, Ontario Power Generation, a Canadian company, plans to bury 53,000 containers of nuclear waste less than a quarter-mile from the water's-edge, in a dig site that is expected to consume 70 acres of land.
This move is not safe and it is not acceptable.
As a state lawmaker, I am charged by the Michigan Constitution with the duty to protect the public health, safety and welfare, and to protect the natural resources from pollution, impairment and destruction. That is a responsibility I take very seriously.
That’s why I am sending a formal request to President Obama to exercise the United States’ rights under the International Boundary Waters Treaty to stop the burying of this dangerous waste that could threaten Lake Huron for generations.
Pursuant to the 1909 Boundary Waters Treaty, the International Joint Commission was formed to specifically address international matters relative to the U.S. and Canadian interests in protecting the Great Lakes. As an important part of that Treaty, either country has been given the authority to invoke an investigative process that will research issues that have the potential to impact the health of our lakes.
I am asking the President to do precisely that.
In addition, I have introduced legislation in Lansing to prevent radioactive waste from being buried on our side of the International border.
Michigan law currently imposes very strict siting rules on any long term disposal of low level radioactive waste. Michigan also has a complete ban for higher level radioactive waste.
In light of Ontario's plans, I have introduced legislation to go a step further, banning the most significant kind of low level radioactive waste-classed as Type C waste, from our state altogether.
These are important first steps on the road to a cleaner, contamination free Michigan and a safer Lake Huron. But I need your help.
President Obama will receive my formal request for action, but he and his administration need to hear your voices loud and clear, as well.
That's why I also have announced a citizen petition aimed to let President Obama know how seriously we take threats to the Great Lakes in Michigan.
You can visit the petition online today at www.ProtectLakeHuron.com
and add your name to those of our friends and neighbors.
With your help, we'll put a stop to this dangerous plan and protect Lake Huron for future generations.