Dear Ambassador MacNaughton,
We write to inform you about an amendment that was approved in the House of Representatives and included in the House-passed Make America Secure and Prosperous Appropriations Act.
This amendment would prohibit United States government funds from being used to support attendance at the Canadian Water Resources Association's National 2018 Conference, "Our Common Water Future: Building Resilience through Innovation," scheduled to take place in Canada next year. This targeted amendment is designed to be a prohibition for the staff at the International Joint Commission (IJC), the body created to implement the Border Waters Treaty of 1909.
This amendment was included in the bill to further highlight our concerns about the Canadian government's continued march toward approving the deep geologic repository project in Kincardine, Ontario. We understand the project is currently being considered by your government's Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency and that the IJC cannot consider the project without a reference from both countries. This amendment targeted the commission because we believe that through its actions the Canadian government has failed to demonstrate the binational comity and concern for the safety of the Great Lakes and other shared waters that the IJC is supposed to represent.
It is our position that any level of risk presented by a permanent storage facility for nuclear waste is unacceptable and that a country that is slightly larger than the United States can surely find a suitable site for such a project that does not fall within the Great Lakes Basin.
Please see this amendment and letter as yet another appeal to your government that we seek to cooperate to guarantee the safety and quality of the Great Lakes well into the future, but we think that this site is wholly unacceptable and will continue to oppose efforts to construct a permanent nuclear waste facility on the shore of Lake Huron.