Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Play

Latino groups say Nevada's new political maps have diluted their influence, especially in Las Vegas' Congressional District 1; and strikes that erupted in what became known as "Striketober" aren't over yet.

Play

Presidents Biden and Putin discuss the Ukrainian border in a virtual meeting; Senate reaches an agreement to raise the debt ceiling; and officials testify about closing the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay.

Play

Rural areas are promised more equity from the U.S. Agriculture Secretary while the AgrAbility program offers new help for farmers with disabilities; and Pennsylvanians for abandoned mine reclamation says infrastructure monies are long overdue.

Groups Protest Bills to Allow More Radioactive Waste in MI

Play

Monday, December 10, 2018   

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan House of Representatives is expected to take up a proposal this week that critics say would make the state a magnet for radioactive waste from fracking around the country.

The state Senate has already passed SB 1195, which would allow specialized Type I landfills, like the one run by US Ecology in Belleville, to accept radioactive waste measuring 10 times the current federal standard – even 100 times more, with extra precautions.

Diane Weckerle, co-chair of the Coalition to Oppose the Expansion of US Ecology and a board member of Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation, says very few states allow this material.

"You know, you would think that the politicians would learn after the Flint water crisis that they would be concerned,” she states. “This legislation opens the barn doors in Michigan, calling on different states to bring in their radioactive waste."

At issue is a byproduct of fracking called Technologically Enhanced Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material, or TENORM.

A second bill adds a disposal fee of $5 per ton to go toward safety monitoring.

Protesters are rallying Monday morning at the US Ecology facility in Detroit.

The company says it monitors landfill liners and groundwater for safety.

LuAnne Kozma, campaign director of the Committee to Ban Fracking in Michigan, notes the legislation would allow diluted TENORM to be dumped in regular or Type II landfills.

"They are redefining in this bill what is TENORM, so anything that is less than a certain concentration would not even be called TENORM,” she points out. “They can dilute this stuff and bring it all in."

Sean Hammond, deputy policy director of the Michigan Environmental Council, sees the bills as a good first step if rules are tightened on Type II landfills.

"The intent the behind the bills is essentially to set these regulations in law when they arguably were, you know, allowed under the current law anyway,” he explains. “This makes it clearer, and really does start this conversation on limiting TENORM in the state."

But Diane D'Arrigo, radioactive waste project director for the Nuclear Information and Resource Service, says there is no safe level of radiation.

Her nonprofit group says certain byproducts of the waste dissolve into rainwater and will end up in the water supply eventually, because liners only have a 20 to 30-year lifespan.

"They're not intended, even, to isolate material for the thousands of years that some of this fracking waste stays legitimately dangerous," she stresses.

D'Arrigo adds the legislation would leave it up to the landfill owners, not regulators, to evaluate incoming waste for potential radioactive exposure.


get more stories like this via email

BP's refinery in Whiting, IN covers 1,400 acres in northwestern Indiana, just a few miles from the Chicago loop. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

WHITING, Ind. -- International oil-and-gas producer BP will pay more than $500,000 to the federal government as part of a legal settlement over air …


Social Issues

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- Strikes that erupted in what became known as "Striketober" aren't over yet. After a two-day strike in October, health-care …

Social Issues

DENVER -- Women and low-income students disproportionately put their college careers on hold during the pandemic, according to a new report. Of the 1…


A proposal by Milwaukee City Alder Marina Dimitrijevic would provide 12 weeks of paid leave for new parents, regardless of their gender. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

MILWAUKEE, Wis. -- Like most of the nation, Wisconsin does not have a statewide paid parental leave policy, but in Milwaukee, a three-month paid …

Social Issues

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- With kids stuck at home early in the pandemic, a new report said child-abuse cases decreased in 2020, but children's advocates say …

The Minnesota Attorney General's Office says even when someone is facing serious financial pressure with a past-due loan, they often don't have to make snap decisions. To avoid scams, borrowers are urged to seek out free consultation. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

MINNEAPOLIS -- With forbearance protections ending during this stage of the pandemic, some struggling homeowners are sorting out their mortgage …

Social Issues

RAPID CITY, S.D. -- If South Dakota wants to turn out a thriving economy, quality affordable child care needs to be a vital component, according to a …

Social Issues

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- In a system plagued by a history of disparities, Ohio's child-welfare workers and children's advocates say it is time to reimagine …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021