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Congressman Paul Mitchell

Representing the 10th District of Michigan

Mitchell Amendment to Urge Canada to Halt Nuclear Waste Project

September 7, 2017
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today, the House passed Representative Mitchell’s amendment which prohibits American money for the International Joint Commission (IJC) from being used to attend an annual Canadian water resources conference, demonstrating the opposition of the U.S. Congress to the nuclear waste project on the shore of Lake Huron. 

Representative Mitchell issued the following statement after his amendment passed the House of Representatives by voice vote:

“As I have long said, building a nuclear waste repository along the shore of Lake Huron is nothing short of irresponsible.  A failure at this site would have devastating impacts on Michigan and Canada, who both rely on the Great Lakes for drinking water, tourism, and commerce.  Since taking office, I have raised objections to the OPG project with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Canadian officials, and the leadership of OPG to no avail.  My amendment is yet another escalation of my efforts to highlight to Canada the urgency and gravity of this issue.

“Canada and the United States created entities like the IJC to resolve binational water disputes between our two nations and protect our shared waters.  Yet, Canada’s continuing efforts to approve this site less than one mile from Lake Huron in the face of my constituents’ near universal objections undermine the core purpose of that commission. My amendment was narrowly tailored to prohibit American money for the IJC from going toward a conference that provides little to no benefit to my constituents. Importantly, the amendment does not otherwise affect the IJC’s other efforts to protect our shared waters or other essential funding like the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

“Though limited in scope, passage of my amendment demonstrates that my colleagues and I in the United States Congress are willing to escalate our efforts to prevent this unacceptable threat to the Great Lakes.  Continued intransigence on the part of the Canadians will further motivate me to work against this project,” said Representative Mitchell.  

Listen to Representative Mitchell’s floor remarks on his amendment here.

Background:

International Joint Commission:

The IJC was created to resolve disputes over transboundary waters between the United States and Canada and protect our shared waters. The commission will take up disputes when both countries agree to reference them to the commission, but otherwise will not consider the issue.  They have so far not addressed the Ontario Power Generation (OPG) plan to build a nuclear waste repository along the shore of Lake Huron.

Representative Mitchell has led the effort against the OPG nuclear waste project since entering Congress in January: 

Issues: