The Great Lakes mapClick the link below for a video:

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Read more about this in my book the Dynamic Great Lakes available at, and many other places.


The Youngstown, N.Y., dump now being considered for expansion has been taking in toxic and radioactive waste since 2001.


NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE–Remember the Love Canal ? Just up the road from that notorious toxic neighbourhood in New York state, there’s a new plan to dump more poisonous waste, including radioactive material, right near Lake Ontario and on an earthquake fault line.

New York state officials are now considering whether to permit a company called Chemical Waste Management Inc. to expand its landfill in Youngstown, N.Y., perilously close to the Canadian border — and our shared water.

Do we ever learn? The site is less than five kilometres from the Niagara River, already filled with so many chemicals that it’s listed as an official area of concern by theInternational Joint Commission that oversees shared Canada-U.S. waters.

Even more concerning for Canadians is that at least once a year, under U.S. permit, the existing New York-side landfill is allowed to dilute the cancer-linked PCBs and other materials it collects and discharge its nasty water into the Niagara River.

We ought to know better

On both sides of the border all of us ought to know better by now.

This landfill expansion scheme is unfolding nearly two generations after environmentalists took to the street, in Canada and around the world, chanting: “Dilution is not the solution to pollution.” They were right then and it’s still true.

We can’t just make toxic waste go away, no matter how much we wish we could. The nearby Love Canal neighbourhood, which was evacuated and bulldozed due to pollution, led to the creation of the U.S. Superfund program , designed to contain and clean up America’s worst toxic waste sites.

There was a Superfund cleanup at the Love Canal. But late in 2012, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency took steps to delist the site from the program, saying the work is done.

Perhaps, but as environmentalists say, everything ends up somewhere — interestingly, the Youngstown dump now being considered for expansion has been taking in toxic and radioactive waste since 2001, when the Love Canal cleanup was in full swing.

Clyde Burmaster, vice chair of the Niagara County legislature on the U.S. side, says that as alarming as this new plan is to his constituents, it should be equally frightening to Canadians, including people in the Greater Toronto Area.

“There is a mega-threat to both the U.S. and Canada,” he says.

“We feel there is strong evidence the landfill materials (at the site where expansion is proposed) are leaking out beneath ground and beneath the depth that the on-site soil is monitored, and heading directly into the Niagara River.”

Why aren’t Canadians doing more to stop this plan? The biggest reason is that so far, only a few Canadians seem to know about it.

Gary Burroughs, Niagara’s regional chair (on the Ontario side), says he found out about the scheme only recently, when Burmaster contacted him. He attended a public meeting on the U.S. side on July 16.

“I’ve been trying to raise attention about it since then,” he says.

Why hasn’t this drawn government attention?

You would think that a problem on the order of toxic and radioactive waste threatening Lake Ontario would draw the attention of the provincial and federal governments, but apparently it hasn’t. It’s possible that no one on the U.S. side has told the Ontario Environment Ministry anything officially, as this may not be required under law.

As for Ottawa, as many Canadians know, the federal government treats environmental protection as an enemy — Prime Minister Stephen Harper has cut environmental programs, muzzled scientists and ordered tax audits of environmental groups. It’s hard to determine what the feds would do or even if they would care.

At the same time, Canada’s environmentalists don’t seem to know about this problem either. A spokesperson for the David Suzuki Foundation, asked about the plan for more toxic waste at the edge of the Great Lakes, expressed shock and surprise.

To make matters worse, Burmaster says that the Chemical Waste Management site is on an earthquake fault line: “Should a quake happen and open the landfill . . . in just one hour those carcinogens and radioactive particles would become airborne and could be carried 60 miles (100 kilometres) away.”

Not to make this too scary, but as he says, that’s “all the way to the Toronto area.”


David Israelson is a Toronto writer and consultant.

2 kite boards

September 4th, 2014 at 9:28 pm by under Bill’s Blog, Weather

Seiche Petoskey 9 4 14 Petoskey City Marina and upnorthlve   A rare seiche occurred on Lake Michigan this morning.  The strong, thunderstorm induced S-SW wind blew surface water toward the Michigan side of the lake, causing the water level to rise.  The picture shows a significant rise in the water level of Lake Michigan at the Petoskey Marina, where the water rose over the docks!   At the same time the water level fell in Wisconsin.  As the winds die down the water sloshes back toward Wisconsin and can rise and fall several times before leveling off.  There were a number of fatalities in Chicago due to a seiche in 1954.   Seven people lost their lives in a seiche here in SW Michigan on July 4, 2003.   Strong low pressure centers can create a “standing seiche”.  

There was also a seiche on Lake Superior on the same date.


In my book, The Dynamic Great Lakes, seiches on the Great Lakes are explained.  The Dynamic Great Lakes shows interesting facts about the Great Lakes system, their fishes, invasive species, and encourages people to seek solutions to their problems.

arch rockIMG_1519

Mackinac Island really is shaped like a great turtle.  I experienced its contours as I rode up and down many hills on my bike. 

But sometimes you just have to walk. After looking through Arch Rock from the top, the way down is on a new stairway through the woods.  People from all over the world visit this beautiful island.  It has a rich history as the Indians used this place as a trading post and then later it was the site of the War of 1812 between the English and Americans 200 years ago.

  click the link:Mackinac Island Butterfly House

There’s lots to see and do on Mackinac Island.  Bikes to get around or horses or horse drawn wagons are the way to go since cars are not allowed.


Oil Spill Threatens Great Lakes  Click on the link for information about an aging oil pipline that is a threat to the freshwater Great Lakes.



July 12, 2014

Originally posted on The Dynamic Great Lakes Blog:

Here is an excerpt from my book, The Dynamic Great Lakes:
Plutonium, the most toxic substance known, is a by-product of
nuclear power plants. It is extremely hazardous because of its high
radioactivity: for half of its quantity to decay, it takes 24,360 years.
Our aging Nuclear Power Plants on the Great Lakes presently have
nowhere to store plutonium except on their property.
On the Palisades Nuclear Power Plant property on the shore of
Lake Michigan near South Haven, eight 100 ton casks stand on a
concrete slab only 150 feet from the waters of Lake Michigan.
The 16½ foot high casks are eleven feet in diameter and weigh
100 tons. They consist of a steel basket encased in 29 inches of
concrete and stand on a concrete slab. Palisades may eventually have
25 casks. Plutonium is so toxic that it could mean an end to life as
we know…

View original 77 more words  Click the link for information about a very dangerous nuclear power plant on the shore of Lake Michigan.

Read about this plant in my book, The Dynamic Great Lakes available on Kindle, and paperback at, etc.


Great Lakes Stressed

July 8, 2014

National Geographic Maps  Click the link for a National Geographic article and maps.


Wind Turbines in the Lakes


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