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Re: E-M:/ Big Rock Nuke Site a State Park? Log your group's opposition before Thursday

Enviro-Mich message from Gary Stock <gstock@net-link.net>


I can not imagine how to avoid this, but I'm begging, _please_ _don't_
fire back about the dangers of nuclear power or nuclear waste.  I
already agree.  OK?  I read the entire release.  Let's skip a slew of
e-mails that I could write myself.  Deal?

Having made that (likely futile) request, I must ask:  what is the
alternative for the Big Rock Point site?  Why is State control not among
the best likely alternatives?

The site must contain quality natural features and habitats:


Different center and scale, but a topo version of the vicinity:


I'm far more familiar with lands near facilities in Van Buren and
Berrien Counties.  If (when :-) those are decommissioned, nearly ~1,000
undeveloped acres in proximity to each one _need_ to be kept intact
under one management, and _not_ developed.   The sites are less
contaminated than Big Rock Point (knock on wood), but the option to
preserve entire sections of lakefront just doesn't crop up every day!

It seems that for Big Rock Point, MEC, NIRS, CNFGL, DWM and others might
be able -- as the best expertise outside the industry -- to "object
constructively."  I know, having done such a dance with everybody from
Joe Bulldozer up to Wal-Mart, that doing it is a complete _pain_! 
Eventually, though, it tends toward worthwhile outcomes.  And, it avoids
your being left out while the real decisions occur.

Why would concerned efforts not go to (off the top of my head):

   encourage some level of ownership control over all 563 acres
   recommend the maximum areas that might be safe for some uses 
   craft park guidelines to limit public use over the remainder
   advise MDNR on a target price using data about cleanup costs
   require the seller to place proceeds in State cleanup escrow
   define liabilities now, while sellers have legal obligations

IOW, why not get most of a square mile of lakefront and associated
habitats protected from development... with stringent cleanup terms
where practical... with harsh usage restrictions elsewhere... and
funding toward cleanup, rehabilitation, management, and ongoing research?

That seems the best possible outcome.  Who will advocate for it?

What are the alternative outcomes?  What will prevent them?

Presume the site remains in Consumers/Entergy ownership.  It seems that
they will have likely no better incentive for cleanup, likely no better
budget for cleanup, and likely no better methods for cleanup than they
have today -- at least for the foreseeable corporate future.

If Entergy _can_ clean it up, and decides to do so, it seems unlikely
that they would so willingly sell it for public use.  At least, the
price would leap upward dramatically.  Why not take control today,
putting that leap toward BAT/BMP cleanup?  

If Entergy _can't_ clean it up, or decides not to do so, it seems likely
that they will begin selling off the outer edges for golf courses
(already visible to the southwest), or other commercial uses -- even residential.

Once some development begins around the edges -- and I'm not saying this
makes sense, just that it's human nature -- such uses will creep inward.
 If no person dies in the first year of the first development, the next
crop of houses will begin to rise.  Again, yes, humans are unbelievably
nuts.  How will that outcome be prevented?

I've talked at length with folks from Savannah River Ecology Laboratory
(under a wicked budget knife recently), much of which is dreadfully
contaminated.  Still, it has some remarkable flora and fauna (finding
five endangered species is easier with 300+ square miles):

Rocky Flats and other sites share similar potential -- but they're also
instructive about what happens when DOE and industry are left in
control!  See the excellent study by the Institute for Energy and
Environmental Research (IEER):


DOE proposed lower cleanup standards because it was "only for wildlife!"

Left to their own devices, might the owners just declare Big Rock Point
a "sanctuary" as is?  Might DOE agree?  Or, might the owners simply walk
away -- or go bankrupt decommissioning (or constructing) another plant? 
If so, might DOE resources be consumed by higher priority abandoned
sites?  Might the State then "own" Big Rock Point, with no prospect for
funding anything?

To cite the IEER Summary:


   It is not appropriate to assume that site control, institutional
   memory, and legal land use restrictions will prevail for hundreds
   of years, to say nothing of thousands of years. There is little
   factual basis for such assumptions and much evidence that they
   are unwarranted.

MDNR limitations (and MNRTF political shenanigans) notwithstanding,
isn't State ownership today preferable to a hazy future under Consumers,
er... Entergy, that is... Jack Nicklaus "Cesium Masters Course"...
Glow-By-Night Condominium Estates... "The Dunes Residual-Radiation
Treatment Center" of Charlevoix?


Gary Stock                                        gstock@unblinking.com
UnBlinking                                   http://www.unblinking.com/
Googlewhack                                 http://www.googlewhack.com/

     The best proof for a claim that terrorists are crazy or evil
     would be to acknowledge that the White House is full of them

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