Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Play

Access to medication is key to HIV prevention, a Florida university uses a religious exemption to disband its faculty union, plus Nevada tribes and conservation leaders praise a new national monument plan.

Play

The House passed a bill to avert a crippling railroad strike, Hakeem Jefferies is chosen to lead House Democrats, and President Biden promises more federal-Native American engagement at the Tribal Nations Summit.

Play

The first-ever "trout-safe" certification goes to an Idaho fish farm, the Healthy Housing Initiative helps improve rural communities' livability, and a new database makes it easier for buyers and builders to find available lots.

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

An estimated 64,875 firefighter injuries occurred in the line of duty in 2020, according to the National Fire Protection Association. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

Nebraska has had a number of deadly and destructive fires this year, and nearly half the state remains in extreme or exceptional drought. If it is as …


Social Issues

Illinois voters approved a "Workers' Rights Amendment" to the state constitution which broadens the state workforce's rights to collective bargaining…

Health and Wellness

The legal fight over North Dakota's abortion ban continues, and oral arguments about one element of the case were heard by the state Supreme Court …


Child poverty dropped to 5.2% during the pandemic because of the expanded Child Tax Credit and other relief efforts. (ktay21/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

CORRECTION: Monthly amounts of the expanded Child Tax Credits were $250 (ages 0 to 5) to $300 (ages 6 to 17). An earlier version of this story had …

Environment

Wildlife biologists are warning Iowa hunters to have their deer tested for a deadly condition known to attack the animal's brain. Chronic Wasting …

Same-sex marriage became legal in Nevada in October 2014. (Ronstik/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Nevada marriage-equality groups say the U.S. Senate's passage of the Respect for Marriage Act is a huge step forward for people who identify as LGBTQ+…

Social Issues

After the calendar flips to December, South Dakota will see the return of colder temperatures during a period of higher natural-gas costs. Fire …

Environment

By Phil Roberts for Next City.Broadcast version by Edwin J. Viera for New York News Connection reporting for the Solutions Journalism Network-Public …

 

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