The U.S. Department of Transportation's Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is the federal agency that must approve Bruce Power's controversial and risky proposed shipment of 16 radioactive steam generators, originating in Ontario and bound for Sweden, before it enters U.S. territorial waters on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River. PHMSA is infamous for its negligence in major oil pipeline leaks into rivers, deadly natural gas pipeline explosions, and the cozy relationships between the agency's top leadership and the very companies and industries PHMSA is supposed to regulate. Thanks to 7 Great Lakes U.S. Senators, it was revealed that PHMSA has previously rubberstamped approvals for 17 water-borne shipments of large, radioactive nuclear components in the past. These shipments travelled on rivers, bays, and sea coasts across the U.S., and even on the waters of Lake Michigan. PHMSA very quietly granted "approvals or special permits" for shipping radioactive steam generators, reactor pressure vessels, pressurizers, and reactor vessel heads with little or no notice to, or attention from, the public, media, emergency responders, or elected officials. Given the radiological risks of these shipments, and the precedent they set for shipping high-level radioactive wastes by water, PHMSA must undertake a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). This should include an adequate period for submission of public comments, including public hearings across the U.S. in places that have been targeted in the past for such shipments, or could be in the future. Contact PHMSA Administrator Cynthia L. Quarterman, urging her to undertake a PEIS -- including a public comment period and public hearings -- in order to fully comply with NEPA, as she assured the U.S. Senators that she would. You can email her at email@example.com; fax her at (202) 366-3666; phone her at (202) 366-4433; or send her a letter at Cynthia L. Quarterman, Administrator, U.S. Department of Transportation, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, East Building, 2nd Floor, Mail Stop: E27-300, 1200 New Jersey Ave., SE, Washington, DC 20590. Also, contact your U.S. Senators and U.S. Representative via the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and request that they urge PHMSA Administrator Quarterman to do a PEIS as well. Additional information on the Bruce Power radioactive steam generator shipment from Canada to Sweden can be found on Beyond Nuclear's Canada website section.
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