Lame-duck bills on radioactive waste spark protests, concerns over dumping in Detroit

Protesters gather outside North Detroit U.S. Ecology Plant

DETROIT – There are dozens of lame-duck bills causing controversy in Lansing, and those concerns spilled over into protests Monday in Detroit.

Senate bills 1195 and 1196 are short and to the point. They write rules for Michigan landfills and processing plants accepting radioactive waste. But there's concern the lame-duck bills will allow that waste to find its way into Detroit.

Protesters gathered Monday outside the North Detroit U.S. Ecology Plant. The charge was led by Rev. Alexander Bullock.

Right now, the state of Michigan's rules on radioactive waste aren't clear. There's no tipping fee or charge for bringing waste here, while other states won't even allow it.

The bills would charge $5 a ton and potentially allow much higher levels of radioactivity for fracking waste and granite shavings -- all naturally occurring forms of waste known as tenorm, or technologically enhanced, naturally occurring radioactive materials.

Right now, the Detroit U.S. Ecology Plant isn't accepting the waste. Only the U.S. Ecology Plant in Belleville does, and it's one of a handful nationwide.

There's concern that, under the new laws, that kind of waste could find its way to Detroit.

Newly elected Highland Park state Rep. Isaac Robinson is angrily decrying even the possibility of what the bills could bring.

You can watch Rod Meloni's full story in the video posted above.

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