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House Committee Approves Dingell-Upton Amendment Protecting Great Lakes from Nuclear Waste

Washington, DC, June 28, 2017

Today the House Energy and Commerce Committee 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) seeks approval to construct a deep geologic repository for nuclear waste less than one mile from Lake Huron in Kincardine, Ontario.

“Today, we are sending a strong, powerful, bipartisan message to our friends and neighbors in Canada that the U.S. Congress is united against storing nuclear waste in or near the Great Lakes,” said Dingell. “The Great Lakes contain more than 20 percent of the world's freshwater supply and are a critical source of drinking water for millions of Americans, as well as Canadians. All of this would be jeopardized if there is a nuclear spill; it is simply a risk we cannot afford to take. We have a moral responsibility to protect these natural resources and we need the Canadian government to understand how strongly we are opposed to putting the Great Lakes at risk to this unacceptable danger.”

“It’s simple: Permanent radioactive waste storage doesn’t belong anywhere near our Great Lakes,” said Upton. “A spill near this precious natural resource would have devastating effects for public health, drinking water, the environment and our economy. This bipartisan amendment sends the proper signal that we will not sit idly by and allow permanent storage near our beloved Great Lakes. We also must continue the bipartisan push for a permanent nuclear waste repository. I want to thank my friend Debbie Dingell, and our entire Michigan Delegation, for their continued work on this critical issue.”

The Great Lakes delegation has been consistent in their strong opposition to OPG’s proposed nuclear waste site near the Great Lakes. Earlier this month, 32 Members sent a letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson urging him to do everything in his power to protect the Great Lakes and convince the Canadian government to select an alternative site. A copy of the letter is available here

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