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Congresswoman Debbie Dingell

Representing the 12th District of Michigan

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House Approves Dingell-Upton Amendment to Protect the Great Lakes from Nuclear Waste

May 10, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the House of Representatives approved a bipartisan amendment introduced by U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-12) and U.S. Congressman Fred Upton (MI-06) expressing the sense of the Congress that the governments of the United States and Canada should not allow permanent or long-term storage of spent nuclear fuel or other radioactive waste near the Great Lakes. The amendment comes as Ontario Power Generation (OPG) continues to seek approval to construct a deep geologic repository for nuclear waste less than one mile from Lake Huron in Kincardine, Ontario. The amendment now moves to the U.S. Senate as part of the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act of 2018.

“The Great Lakes account for 20 percent of the world’s freshwater supply and are absolutely critical for millions of Americans who rely on them for clean drinking water, jobs and their way of life,” said Dingell. “This amendment sends a strong, bipartisan message to our friends and neighbors in Canada that the U.S. Congress is united against storing nuclear waste near the Great Lakes. Rep. Upton and I were proud to get this amendment included on behalf of everyone from the Great Lakes region, and we will continue working with our colleagues to protect these precious waters for future generations.”

“The Great Lakes are the lifeblood of our great state,” said Upton. “Right now we have four spent nuclear fuel sites, including two in Southwest Michigan right on the shores of Lake Michigan. Keeping spent fuel there in perpetuity is not an option, especially when a permanent, responsible solution has long been available. This amendment sends a bipartisan message that we will continue working to protect our Great Lakes for future generations.”

The Great Lakes delegation has been consistent in their strong opposition to OPG’s proposed nuclear waste site near the Great Lakes. Last year, 32 Members sent a letter to the State Department urging leadership to do everything in their power to protect the Great Lakes and convince the Canadian government to select an alternative site. A copy of the letter is available here.