ST. CLAIR SHORES – State Representative Sarah Roberts (D-St. Clair Shores) traveled to Kincardine, Ontario yesterday to testify before the Joint Review Panel on the proposed Canadian underground radioactive nuclear waste repository near the Lake Huron shore. Joining Roberts at the review was State Senator Hoon-Yung Hopgood (D-Taylor).

“The safety of our lakes and our drinking water are threatened by this proposed nuclear waste site. Sen. Hopgood and I felt it was critical for us to testify at this public hearing on behalf of the communities we represent and many concerned Michiganders,” said Roberts. “Siting a nuclear waste repository close to Lake Huron, and the fact that there are unanswered questions about the actual volume and types of radioactive wastes to be stored there, make this facility a bad idea for both Canada and Michigan.”

The repository, or long-term storage site, is being proposed to store low- and intermediate- levels of radioactive waste less than one half mile from Lake Huron’s Canadian shore. Radioactive waste can remain dangerous for about 100,000 years, contaminating the surrounding area if not properly contained.

“I thank the review panel for giving Senator Hopgood and me the opportunity to testify and for considering the impact this facility would have in our state as well as in Canada,” said Roberts. “The impact of this on our environment, our health and our economy demands our opposition. My testimony calls on Ontario Power Generation to find an alternative safer location, because it’s impossible for any scientist or geologist to guarantee the geological safety of the proposed location near the Lake Huron shore. We owe it to present and future Michigan residents to oppose and stop this facility in order to protect our lakes that provide drinking water, jobs and recreation opportunities for so many Michigan residents.”

“Tourism and agriculture are two of Michigan’s top industries that could also be devastated if the waste site leaks. Roughly 96 million travelers visit Michigan each year, and Michigan’s agriculture industry adds more than $91.4 billion to our state’s economy” said Roberts. “Lake Huron and Lake St. Clair also contribute over a billion dollars to our economy from recreational boating, and fishing in Lake St. Clair pumps over $36 million into the Macomb County and Michigan economy.”

Roberts is also the sponsor of House Concurrent Resolution 7 asking Congress to oppose Ontario Power Generation’s planned repository and instead seek other alternatives. Current Michigan law prohibits the disposal and storage of radioactive waste in a manner that would create a hazard to the public health, safety or welfare.