Congressman Dan Kildee Urges Michiganders to Submit Comments on Canadian Plan to Bury Nuclear Waste on the Shores of the Great Lakes

August 19, 2015

Current 90-Day Comment Period ‘Critical Opportunity’ for Citizens to Have Voices Heard and Stop Plan, Kildee Says

Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05) today announced a new community initiative today to protect the Great Lakes and encourage Michigan residents to get involved to stop a Canadian plan to bury nuclear waste less than a mile from Lake Huron.

Currently, Canada has opened a 90-day comment period seeking comments from both U.S. and Canadian citizens on the proposed plan. Today Congressman Kildee, joined by Michigan Senate Democratic Leader Jim Ananich and concerned citizens, announced a new write-in campaign to the Canadian Minister of the Environment to ensure that Michiganders’ voices are heard on this important issue that threatens our Great Lakes. Instructions on how to submit public comments are below.

“We must protect the Great Lakes from harm, including from the threat of Canadian nuclear waste,” Congressman Kildee said. “Burying nuclear waste less than a mile from Lake Huron just doesn’t make sense and is too much of a risk to take, especially considering nuclear material remains radioactive for thousands of years. There is growing opposition to this plan, both in the U.S. and Canada, and now Michiganders have a chance to be heard and express their views too. I encourage all Michigan residents to speak up and submit comments to Canadian officials during this open comment period to demonstrate that Michigan stands united against this threat to our Great Lakes.”

Today’s announcement in Flint is the latest effort by Congressman Kildee in recent weeks to raise awareness about the potential Canadian plan and stop the burying of nuclear waste so close to the Great Lakes. Last week, along with Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters, Congressman Kildee announced new legislation to invoke the Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909 and mandate that a new study be conducted to examine the proposal’s risks.

In April, Congressman Kildee also introduced a congressional resolution that would direct the President and the U.S. Secretary of State to make sure a permanent nuclear waste storage facility is not built near the Great Lakes. His bipartisan resolution has 22 bipartisan cosponsors – 11 Democrats and 11 Republicans – representing every Great Lakes state, including Michigan Representatives Dan Benishek (MI-01), John Moolenaar (MI-04), Mike Bishop (MI-08), Sander Levin (MI-09), Candice Miller (MI-10), Dave Trott (MI-11), Debbie Dingell (MI-12), John Conyers (MI-13) and Brenda Lawrence (MI-14).

The state-run Ontario Power Generation is currently seeking approval to build a nuclear waste storage facility in Kincardine, Ontario, less than a mile from Lake Huron. If built, the new facility could remain radioactive for more than 10,000 years.

A nuclear spill in the Great Lakes would be catastrophic for Michigan and its shared waters with Canada. Currently, more than 40 million people rely on the Great Lakes for their drinking water. The Great Lakes also support 1.5 million jobs in the boating, fishing and tourism industries, injecting $62 billion into the economy every year.

To date, 168 municipalities – in both the U.S. and Canada – have passed resolutions opposing the plan, including Flint, Mich., Bay County, Mich.; Toronto, Ontario; Chicago, Ill.; Wayne County, Mich.; Milwaukee, Wisc.; Essex County, Ontario; and Rochester County, New York. The Michigan State Senate also has passed a resolution opposing the Canadian nuclear waste storage site.

To submit their comments, Michigan residents must write to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency by September 1, 2015. Comments can be submitted by mail or email.

Anyone who would like to submit comments by mail should send them to: Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency; 22nd Floor, 160 Elgin Street, Ottawa ON K1A 0H3

Anyone who would like to submit comments by email should send them to: ceaa.conditions.acee@ceaa-acee.gc.caGreat Lakes Flyer D2