As deer populations increase, the amount of vegetation they consume also increases. Included in their diet is the endangered wild ginseng. (Photo by Lester Graham)
Researchers say deer populations are threatening wild ginseng. They say the therapeutic herb could disappear from the American landscape within the next century. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Shamane Mills has more:
Researchers say deer populations are threatening wild ginseng.
They say the therapeutic herb could disappear from the American landscape
within the next century. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Shamane
Mills has more:
Ginseng is a wild herb believed to boost energy and improve
concentration. The plant inhabits eastern deciduous forests from Maine to
James McGraw is a biologist at West Virginia University. He studied the
health of wild ginseng plants over the course of four years, and published his
findings in the journal Science. He found that increasing deer
populations threaten to eventually wipe out the plant.
“What we found was that populations were depressed because affects
of browsing. They weren’t reproducing; plants would begin to die and they
weren’t recruiting new plants into the population.”
McGraw says maintaining the wild herb is not only important for
ecological reasons. It’s also important to people who depend on it for
income; wild ginseng roots sell for hundreds of dollars a pound.
To control the deer population, McGraw suggests a change in hunting regulations or introducing more deer predators.
These are "zooks." They're a form of currency used by the Zook Society, a group that barters for homemade products. (Photo by Stephanie Hemphill)
The Zook Society members trade each other for food and other items from their gardens and homes. (Photo by Stephanie Hemphill)
Some jars of food being offered, including peaches and grape syrup. (Photo by Stephanie Hemphill)
People in search of homemade foods are finding an old-fashioned way to get them: bartering. Gardeners and cooks who have a special pasta sauce are trading with others who make homemade applesauce. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Stephanie Hemphill recently attended a barter gathering and brings us this audio postcard:
People in search of homemade foods are finding an old-fashioned
way to get them: bartering. Gardeners and cooks who have a special pasta
sauce are trading with others who make homemade applesauce. The Great
Lakes Radio Consortium’s Stephanie Hemphill recently attended
a barter gathering and brings us this audio postcard:
“Hi, it’s nice to see you again.”
“Have mostly baked goods today.”
“Maple syrup, grape syrup, eggs.”
“Apple butter, squash soup, and frozen split pea soup. Um hm.”
“Worm juice! What the heck is worm juice?”
Buckley: “My name is Jenifer Buckley, and I’m one of the people who got the Zook Society together. This is an informal bartering group of people who home-process and garden.”
“We have lefse! We went down to the farm this part weekend, and Mary learned from her mom, so it’s totally homemade. And we would like two zooks for each bag.”
Buckley: “We decided on the zook as a unit of currency, because everybody agreed the Zucchini is easy to find. We wanted to make sure, for example if I have sauerkraut and somebody else has eggs and somebody else has jam, that we could all three of us barter for those things, so we decided on the zook as currency.”
“This is the three-generation salsa, my grandma’s salsa recipe. My grandma just died this summer. I made some with her last summer, but this summer I made it myself.”
“We have a pint of applesauce from this year’s crop, a good year for apples, and I guess this is about a three-zook item, does that sound fair?”
Buckley: “What often happens is that people are asking relatively little for their products, so people will say, ‘That’s not enough, you should ask for more for that!’ Because in general, I think people tend to undervalue what they do; a lot of time goes into baking and processing and so forth.”
Rhodes: “My name is Gina Temple Rhodes, and this time I brought some new things that I had never brought before. I brought Hinkelsteins, which are cookies made from oat flour, dates, So that was pretty popular. It’s a little strange – you bring things and hope they’ll sell because if they don’t you feel a little disappointed and have to take it home.”
Buckley: “It’s about bringing trade and economics down to the community level; it’s about trying new products. So in that respect there’s little bit of incubator going on here.”
“Try Paula’s? They’re a zook apiece.”
“Dave, are we supposed to eat these or plant these?”
Susie: “I’m Susie, and I brought worm juice, from our worm compost bin. It’s full of nutrients and you can use it to boost your house plants or in your garden. And I see nobody’s snapped it up yet, so I may have to go out and do promotion.”
Dawson: “I’m Katie Neff Dawson. We came away with some canned peaches – I’m kind of a peach freak so we got those. Cooper was into the peanut butter things, they look like Bit-O-Honey things, they’re really good. I think we all got lip balm because that was a good deal – lip balm for one zook. It’s a real diversity, and you come away with a wonderful meal, and it’s just a good community, good people getting together.”
“Bye, all! Thanks for the good food!”
HOST TAG: “Bartering home-made goods in Duluth, Minnesota. Stephanie
Hemphill produced that report for the GLRC.”
So far, coal-burning power plants have been a dominant source of electricity for the U.S. They've also been known to be bad for the environment. New technology makes coal a cleaner source of fuel, but some environmentalists have their doubts. (Photo by Lester Graham)
A new kind of cleaner, coal-fired power plant will soon be built somewhere in the Midwest. American Electric Power, the nation’s largest producer of electricity, says the new plant will be more efficient and pollute less than traditional coal plants. But critics say if utilities were doing more to promote energy efficiency, they wouldn’t need to build new power plants that burn fossil fuels. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Erin Toner
A new kind of cleaner, coal-fired power plant will soon be
built somewhere in the Midwest. American Electric Power, the nation’s
largest producer of electricity, says the new plant will be more efficient
and pollute less than traditional coal plants. But critics say if utilities
were doing more to promote energy efficiency, they wouldn’t need to build
new power plants that burn fossil fuels. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s
Erin Toner reports:
Coal-fired power plants are blamed for contributing to air pollution and global warming and aggravating health problems such as asthma. In the 1970s, Congress passed the Clean Air Act to reduce air pollution. But since many coal plants were built before the Clean Air Act, they’ve been exempt from pollution control updates.
So there are a lot of older, dirtier power plants out there. At the same time, demand for electricity is increasing. To meet demand, many utilities, including Ohio-based American Electric Power, are looking at building new plants, or adding on to their old ones. American Electric Power spokesperson Melissa McHenry says the company needs a new plant that will last at least 30 years.
“As we looked forward, you’re looking at increasingly stringent air quality regulations, so we wanted to ensure we would have a plant that would have improved environmental performance.”
And McHenry says the cleanest, and most efficient coal-burning process, is something practically brand-new to the industry. It’s called Integrated Gasification Combined-Cycle, or IGCC. It converts coal to gas, and then removes pollutants from the gas before it’s burned. The process results in almost zero emissions of sulfur dioxide, which causes acid rain, nitrogen oxides, which cause smog, and mercury, which is toxic to people and animals. There’s also much less carbon dioxide pollution, which is believed to contribute to global warming. And gasification is said to be twice as efficient as traditional coal plants.
There are a couple of IGCC plants in the US, but they’re small – only about a quarter of the size of a traditional coal plant. American Electric Power’s IGCC plant would be the biggest one to date – a full-size plant that would serve the power needs of more than a million homes in the Midwest. American Electric Power Spokesperson Melissa McHenry says this plant be only the first of its kind.
“We’re stepping up to build the first one and we think there will be more as we need additional generation capacity. And we think other utilities, you know, obviously other utilities have announced plans to look at this since we have announced ours. The U.S. has significant reserves of coal available, and we think it’s very important that we are able to use this domestic fuel source in a more environmentally responsible way going forward.”
Most environmentalists agree that IGCC is a much improved way to make power. But they say it’s not the best way, since it still depends on a non-renewable energy source – coal. Environmental groups say relying on coal is not a long-term solution to growing energy needs. Although, the coal industry says there is at least a 200-year supply. Marty Kushler is with the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. He says utilities should consider ways to reduce the need to build new power plants.
“There are a number of other resource options available that can be achieved at a lower cost than building and fueling and operating a new power plant, such as energy efficiency. Energy efficiency can save electricity at a cost that is less than half the cost of building, fueling and operating a new power plant.”
But getting people to use less power isn’t that easy. Kushler says more states should implement power bill surcharges to fund programs to encourage the public to use more energy efficient appliances and cut electricity use.
But even with those kinds of programs, almost everyone agrees coal will be a part of the American energy mix for some time. And people in the energy industry say gasification is the future of coal power.
Jim Childress is with the Gasification Technologies Council. He says the only drawbacks right now are money. IGCC is about 20 percent more expensive than traditional coal power production. And he says there are a lot of bugs to work out in engineering one of these plants.
“The base technology is set. The question mark is based upon marrying that technology with about three, four, five major components and getting the darn thing to run right.”
Childress says the tough part is getting technology that’s working now on a small scale to work in a full-size coal plant.
American Electric Power says its Integrated Gasification Combined-Cycle plant will cost 2 billion dollars, and should be online by 2010. The company is expected to announce a site for the new plant by summer.
People have depended on the locks of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway for decades. (Photo by David Sommerstein)
Paul Giometta normally helps ships in and out of the lock. But in the winter, he helps with repairs and maintenance. (Photo by David Sommerstein)
Construction during the winter is important to keeping the locks operational. (Photo by David Sommerstein)
The locks and channels for ships in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway are getting old. Some were built more than 75 years ago. The U.S. and Canada are conducting a multi-million dollar study to determine how to keep the aging waterway functional, so ships can continue to haul cargo between the Great Lakes and the Atlantic Ocean. While the Seaway is closed in winter, workers empty the locks of their water for annual maintenance. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s David Sommerstein climbed eight stories down to the bottom of one lock on the St. Lawrence River to see how it’s going:
The locks and channels for ships in the Great Lakes
and St. Lawrence Seaway are getting old. Some were built more
than 75 years ago. The U.S. and Canada are conducting a multi-
million dollar study to determine how to keep the aging waterway
functional, so ships can continue to haul cargo between the Great
Lakes and the Atlantic Ocean. While the Seaway is closed in winter,
workers empty the locks of their water for annual maintenance. The
Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s David Sommerstein climbed eight stories
down to the bottom of one lock on the St. Lawrence River to see how
If you’ve never seen a lock before, it’s basically a long, concrete channel filled with water. A freighter goes in one end. Gates close in front and behind it, so the water level can be raised or lowered to move the ship up or down, and out the other end.
Here, that channel’s empty and dry and you can see how huge this lock really is. I get a queasy feeling as I ease onto the steep metal stairs. I can see the lock floor 80 feet below me. Maintenance director Jesse Hinojosa radios down to the bottom. He says workers lose track of how often they climb the stairs.
“We should get a good count of that. They go up and down all day long on it.”
(sound of steps)
I take it step by step. There’s a temporary roof overhead. The only light comes from floodlamps.
The lock gates are open so they can be worked on, so at one end of the lock are stoplogs – stacked steel that temporarily keeps the river out. Still, some water rushes through and has to be pumped out.
(sound of water rushing)
Paul Giometta tops off the fuel tank of one of 10 furnaces that heat the area. He wears a fleece hat and big yellow boots. During the shipping season, he helps guide freighters’ in and out of the lock. But in the winter, he shifts to a totally different line of work.
Giometta: “Chipping concrete, stuff like that, painting, whatever has to be done.”
Sommerstein: “It’s an old lock, there’s a lot of chipping concrete.”
Giometta: “Oh, yeah, there’s no end to that. What you fix today, years later you start all over again.”
Winter maintenance has been an annual job on this lock since the Seaway system opened in 1959. The scale of the work is almost impossible to wrap your mind around. To raise or lower a freighter, the lock flushes 22 million gallons of water in just 7 minutes. It uses gears, valves, tunnels, and huge gates to accomplish the task. Most of that equipment is original, now almost 50 years old. Every winter, it all has to be checked out and tested. Some parts are replaced.
Tom Levine directs the Seaway’s engineering department. He points to the lock’s crumbling concrete walls. He says that’s one of the biggest problems.
“The bad stuff, where the bad concrete is, you take a hammer, it sounds like a hollow wall, and these walls where you’re looking at are like 60 feet into the backfill. I mean, solid concrete, I mean, you wouldn’t believe it.”
Albert Jacquez holds his hardhat and looks up at the walls. He’s the St. Lawrence Seaway’s U.S. Administrator, based in Washington. His demeanor is like that of a homeowner wincing at his rickety porch or rotting roof.
“Well, what I see is a system that has worked well for half a century, but that in the near future needs a major overhaul.”
There are 22 other locks in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway system. Most are owned by Canada. A binational study is underway to answer a critical question: how much will it cost to keep repairing all these locks and other infrastructure so they work for another 50 years? Jacquez says the answers the study finds could determine whether the Seaway gets a facelift or is left as is until it fails.
“Whatever those decisions are will be what they are, whether it’s ‘we’re gonna invest or we’re not gonna invest’, but they at least need the baseline numbers so that they know what they have ahead of them.”
But the study has been delayed. Lawmakers will have to wait at least a year longer than they expected because the project is so big. And President Bush has cut funding for the study in his budget plan by more than a half, which could delay it even further.
Meanwhile, keeping the Seaway open becomes more of a challenge every year. Jacquez says it’s like an old car.
“As it ages, we have to spend more and more time on it because we have more work to do.”
And workers face a hard deadline. Before spring shipping begins, where we’re standing will be flooded under 30 feet of water, so the lock can be ready to welcome the first freighter of the season.
The National Institutes of Health has put some new things on the list of potentially cancer-causing agents, one of which is grilled meat. (Photo by Kenn Kiser)
The federal government is adding 17 substances
to its list of cancer-causing agents. Some of them
are causing concern within the medical profession.
The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Lester Graham
The federal government is adding 17 substances to its list of cancer-causing agents. Some of them are causing concern within the medical profession. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Lester Graham reports:
For the first time, the National Insitute of Environmental Health Sciences has listed viruses in its Report on Carcinogens. Hepatitis B and hepatitis C as well as some viruses that cause sexually transmitted diseases have been added as cancer-causing. Other substances new to the list are some compounds found in grilled meats, a number of chemicals found in textile dyes, paints and inks, and x-rays. Dr. Christopher Portier is the agency’s Director of Environmental Toxicology Program.
“The medical profession is a little concerned about us listing x-rays. They’re afraid people will stop getting medically necessary x-rays because of the concern for cancer.”
But Portier says the best bet is to discuss those concerns with your doctor. For the record, the government now recoganizes 246 substances as “known” or “reasonably anticipated” to be cancer-causing agents.
For the Great Lakes Radio Consortium, this is Lester Graham.
President Bush is proposing a toll for use of the St. Lawrence Seaway. Some worry the toll will dissuade usage and hurt businesses. (Photo courtesy of the Bureau of Transportation Statistics)
The Bush Administration wants to charge ships
for passing through the St. Lawrence Seaway. The
Seaway links the Great Lakes with the Atlantic Ocean.
The Administration hopes the toll will help the
system pay for itself. The Great Lakes Radio
Consortium’s David Sommerstein reports:
The Bush Administration wants to charge ships for passing through the St. Lawrence Seaway. The Seaway links the Great Lakes with the Atlantic Ocean. The Administration hopes the toll will help the system pay for itself. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s David Sommerstein reports:
The Bush Administration’s spending plan for next fiscal year calls for
raising 8 million dollars through a new toll system on the Seaway. The
shipping industry says the move could hurt businesses and cost jobs. But
Seaway Administrator Albert Jacquez says he doesn’t expect tolls to affect
traffic levels. He says there used to be a toll, but it was eliminated in
“If you look at five years before we stopped collecting tolls and five years
after, you’ll see very little change in the level of cargo that moves
through the system, and so I wouldn’t expect a great impact.”
Jacquez says the state of the economy in North America has a much larger
effect on cargo than any other factor.
Great Lakes shippers say the plan is unfair because it would force them to
pay twice for using the Seaway – once for an existing harbor maintenance
tax, and again for a transit toll.
For the Great Lakes Radio Consortium, I’m David Sommerstein.
In the tradition of Live Aid and Farm Aid comes Great Lakes Aid, which will be a concert series to raise money for environmental issues concerning the Great Lakes. (Photo by Jenny W.)
A group of Great Lakes conservationists say
they’ll use a concert series to raise money for the
Great Lakes. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s
Jenny Lawton has more:
A group of Great Lakes conservationists say they’ll use a concert series to raise money for the Great Lakes. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Jenny Lawton has more:
Like “Live Aid,” and “Farm Aid” after that, organizers hope a concert series on behalf of the Great Lakes will be a hit. “Great Lakes Aid,” as it will be called, hopes to feature big-name headliners and local groups, all raising millions of dollars for environmental issues. Tom Fuhrman is President of the Lake Erie Regional Conservancy and organizer of the event. He says supporting a good cause isn’t the only thing that will attract artists to participate.
“They look at things like this as exposure furthering their careers – I mean, there’s 40 million people who live in the Great Lakes basin so these events are going to touch a lot of people.”
Fuhrman says the group is still looking for a headliner to encourage other artists to get on board.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is already a committed partner in the project. As is the George Gund Foundation.
Fuhrman says he expects the event to generate at least two-million dollars in its first performance slated for the summer of 2006.
For the Great Lakes Radio Consortium, I’m Jenny Lawton.
President Bush is calling for more money to be put into the Great Lakes Legacy Act, but some wonder if it will be enough. (Photo courtesy of the Michigan DEQ)
President Bush is recommending more money for
a program designed to clean up contaminated sediment
around the Great Lakes. But the program has a track
record of not being fully funded. The Great Lakes
Radio Consortium’s Chuck Quirmbach reports:
President Bush is recommending more money for a program designed to clean up contaminated sediment around the Great Lakes. But the program has a track record of not being fully funded. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Chuck Quirmbach reports:
The President says he wants fifty-million dollars for the Great Lakes Legacy
Act, beginning this fall. But last year he asked for forty-five-million dollars and
Congress only granted half of that. It was the second year in a row that
Capitol Hill failed to fully fund the five year program.
Even if President Bush succeeds getting all the money he wants this year, EPA official Gary
Gulesian says it wouldn’t cover the fourteen projects waiting for federal dollars.
“So at this point we would not be able to fund all those projects assuming
they were all appropriate and we had the local matches in place.”
Environmental groups say they’re glad to see more money proposed for
sediment clean-up around the Great Lakes. But the groups say, overall, the
president’s budget makes significant cuts in other programs aimed at
cleaning up the nation’s water and air.
For the Great Lakes Radio Consortium, I’m Chuck Quirmbach.
Smokestacks, diesel engines, and a number of other things cause particulate emissions, which can create some negative health effects, and aggravate existing health problems. (Photo by Kenn Kiser)
In the summer, local weather forecasts often
include information about dangerous ozone levels.
But scientists are learning more and more about
another type of pollution that can reach harmful
levels even in the winter months. And as the Great
Lakes Radio Consortium’s Sarah Hulett reports… we
might be hearing more about this type of pollution in
our daily weather reports:
In the summer, local weather forecasts often include information about dangerous ozone levels. But scientists are learning more and more about another type of pollution that can reach harmful levels even in the winter months. And as the Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Sarah Hulett reports, we might be hearing more about this type of pollution in our daily weather reports:
Parts of the region recently reached “code red” for poor air quality. And
that had some people perplexed. Warnings about dangerous levels of ozone are
frequent on hot summer days, especially in urban areas. But this was the
middle of winter.
The warnings were for high levels of tiny particles that federal regulators
only recently began monitoring. They’re spewn from diesel engines,
factories, power plants, and fireplaces. Air monitors in Michigan,
Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and Indiana recently registered unhealthy levels of
these particles – some of them for a few days straight.
Jim Haywood says the problem was an unusual weather event for this time of
year. Haywood is a meteorologist with the Michigan Department of
Environmental Quality. He says a high pressure system moved very slowly over
the Great Lakes region for several days. When you get high pressure, the air
below sinks, generating a layer of warm air that acts like a lid.
“So that warm air that was sinking effectively stops at a few hundred feet
from the surface of the ground. It acts like a cap. It does not let any of
the pollutants that are released at the surface pop up through that cap.”
So all the pollutants that would have gotten picked up and diluted by the
wind instead just hung out for days – building up, and reflecting sunlight
to create haze.
Eventually, a cold front pushed the high pressure system out of the way, and
took the pollution with it. But what about those few days when the Environmental Protection Agency was warning about unhealthy levels of particulate pollution? For people with
heart or lung disease, agency health officials say short-term episodes can
lead to asthma attacks or even heart attacks. And they say healthy children
and adults can experience throat and lung irritation.
Susan Stone is an environmental health scientist with EPA. She says
particle pollution warnings could soon become a staple of the daily weather
report – much like the familiar summer ozone warnings.
“With ozone, we have the network in place to be able to deliver those
forcasts, people are used to hearing that on TV, and we are working to
provide that same level of coverage for particle pollution.”
Stone says EPA is rolling out a new program called Enviro-Flash
nationwide. It sends real-time air quality information to people’s email
accounts or pagers. EPA is offering the service through state
environmental agencies. And beginning in 2010, areas that register
unacceptable levels of particle pollution will be required to clean up their
For the Great Lakes Radio Consortium, I’m Sarah Hulett.
In the United States, low-level nuclear waste is stored in landfills. An Ontario town is proposing to put Canada's low-level nuclear waste in an underground chamber a mile from Lake Huron. (Photo courtesy of the NRC)
In Canada, just across Lake Huron from
Michigan, a small town is offering to be the home of
Canada’s first permanent dump site for radioactive
material. The proposed site is a mile from Lake
Huron. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Mary Ann
Colihan reports on the town’s work to
get the site and the concerns about putting it close
to one of the Great Lakes:
In Canada, just across Lake Huron from Michigan, a small town is offering to be the home of Canada’s first permanent dump site for radioactive material. The proposed site is a mile from Lake Huron. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Mary Ann Colihan reports on the town’s work to get the site and the concerns about putting it close to one of the Great Lakes:
Right now, Canada has nowhere to permanently store its low-level and intermediate-level nuclear waste. This waste is not spent nuclear fuel from power plants. It’s contaminated material that’s been exposed to radioactive substances. It could be anything from the protective clothing workers wear at nuclear power plants to parts from reactors, anything that’s been exposed to radioactivity.
The Ontario town of Kincardine – located about 250 miles north of Detroit – has proposed that it be the site of a nuclear waste dump.
So why would a beach town want a nuclear dump?
Kincardine is also a company town. It’s home to the Bruce Nuclear Power Plant. Eighty-percent of the folks who live there work in the nuclear industry. Larry Kraemer is the former mayor. He explains why the permanent dump is essential for the local economy.
“The Bruce nuclear power plant, which is the biggest nuclear power development in North America as well as the largest local employer and one of the largest Canadian investment in any industry that there is.”
Because Kincardine knows the nuclear industry, the residents aren’t afraid to take on these jobs.
But no one ever asked the question if burying nuclear waste a mile from Lake Huron was the best location in Ontario to put the waste site. Frank King is the Director of Nuclear Waste Management and Engineering Technology for Ontario Power Generation, also known as OPG. He says Kincardine does not have to be the best site for the dump.
“It’s not an issue of whether it’s the best. Nobody has to say it’s best. It just has to be shown that it’s safe; that it’s a good site. There is no requirement to show that it’s the best site.”
OPG already stores low and intermediate-level waste from all twenty Ontario reactors at the Bruce Power plant in Kincardine. But above ground storage is getting tight. OPG began looking at its options and with Kincardine’s “bring it on” attitude it seemed like a good place to start.
OPG paid for members of the Kincardine city council to visit nuclear waste storage sites around the world. Councillors came back especially impressed with how the Swedes do it. They bury their nuclear waste in solid granite.
But the stone below Kincardine is not granite. It’s limestone – and no place in the world uses limestone to contain nuclear waste. William Fyfe is Professor Emeritus of Earth Sciences at the University of Western Ontario. He has spent decades studying geology and nuclear waste around the globe.
“Limestone can be much more porous than granite. It has no ability to absorb nasty elements, like you get with some clay minerals and things, to absorb all the dirty chemical species like uranium, for example.”
He does not like the idea of a man-made cavern full of nuclear waste near the Great Lakes.
“Just because you made the waste doesn’t mean you should put it in your backyard. There may be a better place.”
Local environmentalists agree. Given OPG’s record, they don’t trust that the waste dump will be safe. Jennifer Heisz is a founder of the public interest group, Woman’s Legacy, which is focused on the impact of the Bruce nuclear plant on Lake Huron. She says when she requested environmental records from Ontario, she found evidence that the regulators haven’t done a good job of stopping pollution at the plant.
“I received approximately 10 or 15 reports regarding leaking waste sites and the levels coming from the plant were very high – sometimes at 45 times the provincial level for chromium. Vanadium was also one of the chemicals that was contaminating the groundwater and it’s found to be mutagenic to animals.”
Heisz says if OPG is polluting at its existing dump sites, what’s to keep the agency from doing a poor job of storing nuclear waste underground? Ontario regulators say they plan to conduct an environmental assessment. Heisz and her environmental group are raising money for an independent review of deep nuclear storage. The geologist, Professor Fyfe, thinks Kincardine should hold an open house to get the opinions of experts.
“Before we start putting stuff away, let’s invite the bosses of the Swedish group to come and take a look. They are using hundreds of scientists, technicians, and engineers which we are not doing in Canada.”
Few outside the Kincardine area are aware of their nuclear waste dump plans… and fewer still know the site is planned for so close to Lake Huron.
For the Great Lakes Radio Consortium, I’m Mary Ann Colihan.