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Congressman Dave Trott

Representing the 11th District of Michigan

Trott Voices Opposition to OPG’s Proposed Nuclear Waste Repository

February 1, 2017
Press Release
Letter to Canadian Minister Freeland highlights Trott’s, Oakland County’s, and 23 million people’s opposition

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Representative Dave Trott (MI-11) joined Representative Dan Kildee (MI-05) and other representatives of the Great Lakes states in sending a letter to newly appointed Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Freeland emphasizing their opposition to Ontario Power Generation’s (OPG) proposed nuclear waste repository on the shores of Lake Huron.

“Representing one-fifth of the world’s fresh surface water, the Great Lakes are one of the most critical and sensitive ecosystems in the world, and I am alarmed by Ontario Power Generation’s plan to bury nuclear waste within a mile of their shores. Today, I voiced my, Oakland County’s, and over 23 million people’s opposition to this dangerous proposal and urged Minister Freeland to require OPG to select a location outside the Great Lakes Basin," said Trott.

A PDF of the signed letter is available here.

Full text of the letter is as follows:

Chrystia Freeland
Minister of Foreign Affairs
125 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0G2

Minister Freeland,

Congratulations on your recent appointment as Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs. We look forward to working with you and Prime Minister Trudeau on a multitude of issues of mutual interest to our countries.

For some time, Members of Congress from both parties have expressed concerned about a proposed deep geologic repository for nuclear waste (DGR) that Ontario Power Generation (OPG) is planning to build in Kincardine, Ontario less than one mile from the Great Lakes.

We would like to emphasize our opposition to permanently burying nuclear waste within the Great Lakes basin.

Recently, OPG released a study on potential alternate locations for the DGR. In that report, OPG recognized that there are other viable locations to store nuclear waste in Ontario that would be technically feasible. And we ask that you require OPG to select a site that is outside the Great Lakes basin. Again, permanently burying nuclear waste so close to the drinking water of nearly 40 million people is just too risky.

Further, a portion of the report, under the section ‘Social Licence’, reads in part, “Research shows that there is little interest among the general public regarding the DGR Project at the Bruce Nuclear site.” We vehemently disagree with this conclusion.

First, one cannot depend on social media or internet traffic activity to determine the public’s feelings about burying toxic waste next to the Great Lakes. This data is neither scientific nor representative of the entire population.

Attached you will find a list of 186 local, county and state governments representing nearly 23 million people in the U.S. and Canada that have passed resolutions opposing the proposed nuclear waste repository. In addition, we have heard from our constituents that they are overwhelmingly opposed to OPG’s proposal.

As you can see, contradictory to OPG’s report, there is in fact broad opposition from citizens in both Canada and the United States to burying nuclear waste near the Great Lakes.

Our countries have long partnered to protect the Great Lakes. And we ask that the Canadian government continue to enhance our strong relationship by exploring other options outside of the Great Lakes basin to store nuclear waste.

Thank you for your attention to this important matter and congratulations again on your appointment.