CALL TO ACTION: PROTECT the GREAT LAKES!

CALL TO ACTION: PROTECT the GREAT LAKES!

Postby Oscar » Mon Mar 20, 2017 10:39 am

CALL TO ACTION: To call on McKenna to reject the nuclear dump on Lake Huron, click here:
[ https://secure.canadians.org/ea-action/ ... n.id=47877 ]


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Environment minister Catherine McKenna needs to step up to protect the Great Lakes

[ http://canadians.org/blog/environment-m ... reat-lakes ]

March 19, 2017 - 9:24 am

US President Donald Trump appointed Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency -- and he is no friend of the environment or the Great Lakes.

CNBC reports, "Democrats and environmentalists opposed Pruitt's nomination to lead the EPA due to his close relationship with fossil fuel companies and his history of casting doubt on climate change. Conservatives and the energy industry have cheered his efforts to push back on what they view as over-regulation under President Barack Obama. Pruitt previously served as Oklahoma attorney general, where he rose to prominence as a leader in coordinated efforts by Republican attorneys general to challenge Obama's regulatory agenda. He sued or took part in legal actions against the EPA 14 times."

In addition, The New York Times has noted, "Pruitt has harshly criticized the role of the federal agency, saying much of its authority should be dissolved and left to the states. Mr. Pruitt’s legal views on environmental protection broadly, and the role of the EPA specifically, appear to line up with Mr. Trump’s campaign claim that 'Environmental Protection, what they do is a disgrace'."

That article also highlighted, "Over 700 former EPA employees signed a letter to senators opposing his confirmation."

Nicole Cantello, a lawyer at the EPA whose work focused on the Great Lakes, says, “I’m afraid all the work I’ve done will be abandoned."

On March 16, Trump announced a budget that would cut $2.6 billion in funding from the EPA in 2018, including cutting one-fifth of the budget for the enforcement of the EPA's clean air and water laws, the cutting of one in five EPA employees, and eliminating large-scale clean-up initiatives for the Great Lakes.

Canadian environment minister Catherine McKenna met with Pruitt just after that budget announcement.

Contrary to all evidence, McKenna has commented, “I was pretty clear on how important continued investment by Canada and the U.S. is to the health of the Great Lakes, and I think he gets it. I think he understands the importance of the Great Lakes to the region and to the economy.”

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Given the Trudeau government has decided not to strongly denounce the funding cut to Great Lakes (a shared source of drinking water for 45 million Americans and Canadians) and has placed an emphasis on being amicable with the Trump administration -- from the North American Free Trade Agreement to asylum seekers crossing into Canada fearful of Trump's anti-immigration statements to possibly joining Trump's "state of the art" multi-billion Star Wars missile defence plan -- one hope is that the Trudeau government will do more themselves to protect the Great Lakes.

The Trudeau government has two imminent opportunities to do so:

1- Implement a comprehensive action plan to protect the Great Lakes (cost: $500 million in year one and $950 million a year in each of the following four years). Water campaigner Emma Lui has noted that the Trudeau government's Budget 2016 allocated just $3.1 million to improve nearshore water and to address phosphorous pollution in Lake Erie. The federal government will table its budget on March 22, World Water Day.

2- Oppose the controversial plan to bury 200,000 cubic metres of low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste near Lake Huron. The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency is currently reviewing the proposal and is expected to make recommendations to McKenna in the fall (September-October 2017). To call on McKenna to reject the nuclear dump on Lake Huron, click here: [ https://secure.canadians.org/ea-action/ ... n.id=47877 ]

Brent Patterson's blog
Political Director of the Council of Canadians
[ http://canadians.org/blogs/brent-patterson ]
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Re: CALL TO ACTION: PROTECT the GREAT LAKES!

Postby Oscar » Fri Apr 14, 2017 11:39 am

Feds punt nuke-waste bunker plan back to OPG

[ http://www.durhamregion.com/news-story/ ... ck-to-opg/ ]

April 7, 2017

TORONTO — A report affirming the shoreline of Lake Huron as the best place to bury radioactive waste failed to provide information the government had requested, federal environmental authorities say.

In a detailed letter and document sent to Ontario Power Generation, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency criticizes the utility's report as inadequate and asks it to try again — much to the delight of project opponents.

The impugned OPG report came after Environment Minister Catherine McKenna asked the utility in February last year for information on, among other things, the feasibility of burying the low or moderately radioactive waste elsewhere. . . . More
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Re: CALL TO ACTION: PROTECT the GREAT LAKES!

Postby Oscar » Fri Apr 21, 2017 3:24 pm

Barlow to highlight threats to the Great Lakes at summit in Chicago, May 10-11

[ https://canadians.org/blog/barlow-highl ... -may-10-11 ]

April 21, 2017 - 7:47 am

Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow will be speaking at the 'Untrouble the Waters' summit at the University of Illinois on May 10-11.

As noted in the promotion for the summit, "Various concerns impacting the Great Lakes region will be the focus when government officials, researchers and community leaders from the U.S. and Canada convene at 'Untrouble the Waters', a summit organized by The Freshwater Lab at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Panels and working groups will address critical issues impacting the Great Lakes region, such as lead poisoning, oil pipelines, budget cuts, clean water access and environmental protection. Speakers include Maude Barlow, national chairperson for the Council of Canadians."

The Council of Canadians has identified numerous threats to the Great Lakes including:

1- Nuclear waste
We are calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to reject a plan to bury 200,000 cubic metres of low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste near Lake Huron. In February 2016, federal environment minister Catherine McKenna delayed a decision on whether to approve the Ontario Power Generation's proposed deep geologic repository. The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency is now reviewing a report by the provincial Crown corporation which argues for the nuclear waste site. The federal agency is expected to make its recommendation to the minister this coming September.

2- Waukesha diversion
We are also opposed to the plan to divert 31 million litres of water a day from Lake Michigan and transport it via pipeline outside the boundaries of the Great Lakes basin to Waukesha, Wisconsin. In May 2016, representatives of the US states in the basin area along with Ontario and Quebec gave conditional approval to Waukesha's request to divert lake water under the Great Lakes Compact. The Toronto Star has commented, "Saying yes to Waukesha is one thing, but who asks next? Las Vegas?" It is believed that water will begin being pumped from Lake Michigan to Waukesha around June 2018.

3- Lack of funding
US President Donald Trump plans to slash the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative -- that helps fund the cleaning up the Great Lakes -- by 97 per cent (from US$300 million to $10 million annually) next year. Since 2009, this initiative has allocated $1.3 billion toward the clean-up of the lakes (which are the source of drinking water for more than 40 million people). The Council of Canadians has called for a $500 million federal budget allocation in this country to implement a Great Lakes Action Plan that would establish a framework for local decision-making, clean up areas of concern, control invasive species, and create an inventory of pollutants. The March 2017 federal budget failed to do this.

To read Barlow's 40-page 2011 report "Our Great Lakes Commons: A People’s Plan to Protect the Great Lakes Forever", please click here: [ https://canadians.org/sites/default/fil ... ar2011.pdf ]

Brent Patterson's blog
Political Director of the Council of Canadians
[ https://canadians.org/blogs/brent-patterson ]
Oscar
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