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Detroit and Hamtramck leaders urge Snyder to veto radioactive waste bills

Gov. Rick Snyder
Gov. Rick Snyder

State and local leaders are urging Governor Rick Snyder to veto two bills on how the state deals with some kinds of radioactive waste.

One bill would require landfill owners to pay five dollars per ton of radioactive waste. The money from this fee would go into a pollution prevention fund.

The other bill would allow landfills to take in higher concentrations of the waste, called Technologically Enhanced Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material– or TENORM, which is low-level radioactive waste and a common byproduct of fracking for oil and natural gas.

Isaac Robinson, a State Representative-elect who represents parts of Detroit and Hamtramck, says he’s worried that the legislation could mean waste from out of state could be dumped and processed at sites in his district.

“In light of the tragedy in Flint, this is the last thing we need to be doing, is bring out-of-state radioactive waste and dumping it here in Detroit and Wayne County,” Robinson said.

Robinson spoke with other local leaders in Hamtramck on Thursday to talk about why some people want Snyder to veto the bills.

Reverend David Bullock, a pastor in Highland Park, near Detroit, was one of the community leaders present. He says he's worried the bills could lead to more waste being dumped in his community.

“It doesn’t make sense not to learn from history. We have seen before what not acting quickly enough means,” Bullock said.

The bills' sponsors, Senator Rebekah Warren (D-Ann Arbor) and Senator Tom Casperson (R-Escanaba), were not immediately available for comment.

Bryce Huffman was Michigan Radio’s West Michigan Reporter and host of Same Same Different. He is currently a reporter for Bridge Detroit.
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