WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today joined his fellow Senators in calling on President Obama to address proposals to store nuclear waste near the Great Lakes. The letter urges the President to raise the issue during an upcoming meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the North American Leaders’ Summit.
“With trilateral energy and environmental issues likely on the agenda, we write to urge you to take this opportunity to discuss proposals that would result in the permanent storage of nuclear waste near our shared waters in the Great Lakes basin,” the Senators wrote in the letter. “In particular, we hope you will raise concerns with a proposal by Ontario Power Generation to construct an underground nuclear waste repository less than a mile from the shores of Lake Huron in Kincardine, Ontario.”
Brown has continuously urged the protection of the Great Lakes and called for an alternative waste site. In November 2015, Brown joined a letter to Trudeau, asking his administration not to approve the construction of a nuclear waste repository on the shores of Lake Huron.
In September 2015, Sen. Brown cosponsored the Stop Nuclear Waste by Our Lake Act which would require the Secretary of State to conduct an environmental impact study on the storage of nuclear waste along the shores of Lake Huron, and compels the Secretary to bring the matter before the International Joint Commission if necessary.
In April 2015, Brown cosponsored a resolution expressing concern to the President and the Secretary of State about this issue.
Full text of the letter is available below and here.
May 27, 2016
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear Mr. President:
On June 29, we understand you are scheduled to join Prime Minister Trudeau and President Peña Nieto in Ottawa for the North American Leaders’ Summit. With trilateral energy and environmental issues likely on the agenda, we write to urge you to take this opportunity to discuss proposals that would result in the permanent storage of nuclear waste near our shared waters in the Great Lakes basin. In particular, we hope you will raise concerns with a proposal by Ontario Power Generation to construct an underground nuclear waste repository less than a mile from the shores of Lake Huron in Kincardine, Ontario.
Since assuming office last year, we have been pleased with the Trudeau Administration’s interest in reexamining questions and issues related to the construction of a deep geological nuclear waste repository on the shores of the Lake Huron. This includes a request for further information and studies on the environmental assessment for the proposed deep geological repository in Kincardine, Ontario. We appreciate the Trudeau Administration’s decision to delay permitting decisions for the repository until that information is provided by Ontario Power Generation.
As the United States and Canada work to lower carbon emissions, it is imperative that both countries continue to collaborate on ways to address the long-term storage of nuclear waste. As part of this discussion, we must ensure that these decisions take into account the unique characteristics of the areas in which permeant nuclear storage facilities would be located. In the case of the facility proposed for Kincardine, we have great concern about constructing a deep geological repository in such close proximity to Lake Huron, as an accident that resulted in the release of radioactive material could cause great harm to the drinking water supply of 40 million people on both sides of the border.
Thank you for your consideration of our request, and we hope that you will discuss this important matter with Prime Minister Trudeau at the North American Leaders’ Summit.