LANSING—Sen. Rick Jones announced on Tuesday that he will be introducing legislation that would stop companies in other states like Pennsylvania from dumping their low-level radioactive waste materials in Michigan landfills.
“I was shocked to learn that a landfill in Michigan was scheduled to accept nearly 40 tons of low-level radioactive sludge from Pennsylvania,” said Jones, R-Grand Ledge. “We want a Pure Michigan that attracts families from across the country and the world for fun and excitement in the great outdoors – not as a dumping ground that attracts the country’s radioactive waste.”
Jones’ bill would strengthen Michigan’s regulations concerning disposal of radioactive drilling wastes to mirror those already existing in neighboring Great Lakes states, such as Ohio and Pennsylvania.
“I will be working to adopt the same tough standards as other states because the risk that this type of waste may pose to our lakes and rivers is simply too great,” Jones said. “Michigan needs to send a loud and clear message to other states that we don’t want their radioactive sludge.
“It is not just about protecting Michigan residents; it is about being responsible with how we protect the world’s largest collection of fresh water.”
Jones noted that the waste at issue in this case is technologically enhanced, naturally occurring radioactive material that is an oil and gas drilling byproduct, which accumulates radiation that normally occurs in nature.
According to news reports, a landfill in Wayne County received approval from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality in 2006 to accept the low-level radioactive material and states such as Ohio have recommended using the facility.