Saturday, March 25, 2023

Play

Georgia prepares for the end of COVID-19 emergency; comment period open for experimental nuclear tech in eastern ID; Mexican gray wolf population rebounds in Arizona.

Play

Lawmakers grill the CEO of Tik Tok over national security concerns, the House Pro-Choice Caucus aims to repeal the Helms Act and allow U.S. foreign aid to support abortion care, and attempts to ban or restrict books hit a record high as groups take aim at LBGTQ+ titles.

Play

Finding childcare is a struggle everywhere, prompting North Carolina's Transylvania County to try a new approach. Maine is slowly building-out broadband access, but disagreements remain over whether local versus national companies should get the contracts, and specialty apps like "Farmers Dating" help those in small communities connect online.

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

Nevada is the only state with what is known as a summary eviction process. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

The Nevada Housing Justice Alliance, tenants, lawmakers and community leaders gathered at a news conference outside the Capitol in Carson City this …


Social Issues

Family caregivers provide valuable work to Washington state - even if they don't get paid. A new report puts a value to the unpaid work they do…

Social Issues

Advocates for Michigan's LGBTQ community are calling lawmakers' move to expand the state's civil rights law to include them a victory that's "been a l…


Illinois advocacy groups say they are educating policymakers on the benefits of hospital screening as a solution to prevent medical debt, both for low-income patients and the hospital. (volgariver/Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

A new report finds thousands of low-income or uninsured people in Illinois face medical debt that is depleting their savings and, in some cases…

Health and Wellness

The Iowa Senate has approved a measure allowing some medical facilities to be licensed as "emergency hospitals." This would be especially important in…

The Idaho National Laboratory is located near Idaho Falls. (MichaelVi/Adobe Stock)

Environment

The U.S. Department of Energy has opened a short public-comment window on an experimental nuclear technology in Idaho. The agency has released a …

Social Issues

School nutrition providers told Ohio lawmakers this week they're tired of hounding parents for school lunch money when their child's account accrues d…

Health and Wellness

A Georgia health advocacy group is concerned about people's health outcomes as the COVID-19 public health emergency is set to expire on May 11…

 

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