LANSING – State Representative Sarah Roberts (D-St. Clair Shores) and state Senator Hoon-Yung Hopgood (D-Taylor) today condemned a Canadian panel’s approval of Ontario Power Generation’s proposed underground nuclear waste repository in Ontario, Canada. The deep geologic repository would bury low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste less than a mile from Lake Huron’s Canadian shore and only 440 yards below lake level.

“The Joint Review Panel concludes that the project is ‘not likely’ to cause any ‘significant’ adverse effects. Given the scope and potential devastating effects of radioactive contamination of the Great Lakes, this conclusion is outrageous and dangerous,” said Roberts. “This conclusion ignores information that shows the potential danger this nuclear waste dump so close to Lake Huron would be to the millions of people who rely on the lake and connected waters for their drinking water. It also ignores that there is not a single scientist who can say this project is safe.”

Both Rep. Roberts and Sen. Hopgood testified in Canada against the plan during public hearings. They also both sponsored resolutions during previous legislative sessions against it. Roberts recently introduced House Resolution 66, again urging Congress to oppose the plan. Current Michigan law prohibits the disposal of radioactive waste at any site within 10 miles of the Great Lakes and certain other major bodies of water connected to them. Burying this waste so close to Lake Huron not only endangers the drinking water of millions of Michigan’s residents, it also could have a devastating impact on two of Michigan’s top industries – agriculture and tourism – should the waste site leak.

“I’m very disappointed that the Joint Review Panel has concluded that it is safe for a huge permanent nuclear waste dump to be placed on the shores of Lake Huron. It is now up to Canada’s Minister of Environment to put an end to this proposal and its threat to our Great Lakes,” said Sen. Hopgood. “Our Great Lakes and freshwater are too important to our economy and our way of life to be put in danger like this, and I urge our fellow officials across the border to join us in this fight.”

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and U.S. Representative Dan Kildee (D-MI) have also introduced resolutions against the repository in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives with the support of other Michigan and Great Lakes states legislators. Since the panel’s review process began in 2007, 152 resolutions have passed in Canada and the United States opposing the repository. In addition to Michigan, anti-repository resolutions have passed in Ohio, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Indiana, Minnesota and throughout Canada.