Politicians agree health of lakes is important

By: Kristyne E. Demske | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published February 3, 2016

Photo by Deb Jacques

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ST. CLAIR SHORES — State and federal politicians recently shared their concerns for the health of the Great Lakes and Lake St. Clair during the annual Waterfront Environmental Committee meeting.

“My mother used to swim in the Rouge River,” said U.S. Rep. Sander Levin, D-Roseville, speaking at the Jan. 21 meeting.

Levin said that’s why he is behind the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, because it is important for everyone to get involved. St. Clair Shores, he said, is very active in working to clean up the water.

“We’ve been struggling with areas of pollution here, trying to find the source, and I can’t tell you how cooperative has been the effort at the city level, the county level, the (Army) Corps of Engineers, to try to address issues,” he said, speaking of efforts to find the contamination source of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in the 10 Mile Drain, which is listed as an Environmental Protection Agency Superfund Site.

“It isn’t easy to solve these problems, but I think there is a lot of light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to full restoration,” he said. “We’re lucky that all of us have dedicated ourselves to making sure we restore the waters to the way they were when my beloved mother swam in the Rouge River outside of Birmingham.”

State Rep. Sarah Roberts, D-St. Clair Shores, however, expressed her concern for the health of the Great Lakes from actions taken by Canada. Roberts has been an outspoken opponent of a Canadian proposal to store nuclear waste near Lake Huron.

“It could remain radioactive for 100,000 years,” she said.

The repository, she said, would be the first of its kind to store that kind of waste so close to a body of water.

“Canada is a really big place, and they did not consider any other location,” she said. “There is not a single scientist who will say this is a good idea or this will be safe.

“I hope that with the new government in Canada, they are going to agree with many of us (that this) is a bad idea.”

Roberts encouraged those in the committee, and other residents, to sign the online petition opposing the site at stopthegreatlakesnucleardump.com.

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