The Honorable Secretary John Kerry
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20520
Dear Secretary Kerry:
We write to strongly urge you to engage with the Canadian government and International Joint Commission (IJC) regarding Ontario Power Generation's proposal to build an underground radioactive nuclear waste repository less than a mile inland from the shores of Lake Huron near Kincardine, Ontario. Michigan law prohibits low-level radioactive nuclear waste from being disposed of within ten miles of the lakes and rivers in the Great Lakes system. Canada should consider similar criteria. Building a nuclear waste repository so close to the Great Lakes has the potential to threaten our $7 billion dollar fishing industry and hurt our economy.
In October 2013, we wrote to you and asked that you engage with the IJC and the Canadian government. Your response did not indicate whether you plan to work with the IJC on this matter. The United States and Canada have a joint responsibility to ensure that the Great Lakes are protected. The Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909 states that "waters flowing across the boundary shall not be polluted on either side to the injury of health or property on the other." In Article IX of the Treaty, Canada and the United States may request the IJC to study and report upon matters concerning waters along common borders. We strongly urge you to work with the Canadian authorities to request that the IJC fully study and evaluate the proposed nuclear waste facility.
The Great Lakes are a highly valued resource to eight states and two countries. The future health and prosperity of the Great Lakes is an extremely serious matter. We would appreciate a prompt response explaining how you plan to work with the Canadian government and the IJC to ensure that this nuclear waste repository is not built near the shores of Lake Huron.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.