LLRW Action Alert

URGENT – Stop Texas from Becoming the Nation’s Radioactive Waste Dump!

Hello Friends,

Your help is urgently needed.

A crucial vote could occur on July 6th on a proposed rule that would make Texas into the radioactive waste dump for the nation, and perhaps the world. WE MUST STOP THIS VOTE FROM GOING FORWARD.

Originally only Texas and two other states could send radioactive waste to West Texas. Now a rule proposed by the Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact Commission would let Waste Control Specialists dump radioactive waste from 36 or more states, and potentially from around the world, in Andrews County. This is not what anyone bargained for – even the legislators who approved the original Compact Agreement.

The proposed rule literally has no volume limits on radioactive waste or on radioactivity levels of imported materials. Exposure to radiation can lead to cancer, genetic defects and deaths. Care must be taken in developing radioactive waste rules in order to protect future generations.

Call your State Representative and Senator today!
(You can find out who represents you at: http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us)

Urge your legislators to tell the Compact Commission to halt their rushed vote on the risky radioactive waste import rule, until the legislature has analyzed the risks and liabilities to Texans from expanding the radioactive waste dump.

The Waste Control Specialists site is seeking waste from 36 or more states, and potentially from around the world, instead of just Texas and Vermont. They have the legal authority to limit the site to just the two states. We must protect Texas from becoming the nation’s radioactive waste dumping ground.

Email Compact Commissioners at Margaret.Henderson@tllrwdcc.org. Or call Margaret Henderson at (512) 820 – 2930.

What’s Wrong with the Import Rule?

  • No limits on the volume or radioactivity of waste, or the states from which it can come.
    36 (or more) states and international sources could end up dumping radioactive waste in Texas. The Compact Commission has the authority to limit the site to only the Compact states, Texas and Vermont, and they should do so. The two states would have enough waste to fill up the site three times over. Other Compacts have limits in place. Why aren’t there any here?
  • Public health and safety concerns are not addressed. All six existing radioactive waste dumps have leaked, and there is no technological fix that would prevent leaking in Texas. The Compact Commission has not considered health and environmental risks to Texans.
  • Transportation routes for radioactive waste have not been identified. Would it go through your town?
    No emergency response plans have been considered. Some communities have only a volunteer fire department. Would they have the protective equipment and the right training to handle an accident involving radioactive materials?
  • Ignores Texas’ financial liability and environmental risks. Texas has liability from the moment that radioactive waste comes into our state.

The Compact Commission is NOT ready… but is rushing a vote on a risky, half-baked rule.

  • The Compact Commission is not prepared to oversee radioactive waste import.
    They still have no bylaws. They have no staff and very little funding. In fact, they can barely afford to travel to meetings. They cannot afford the research they should be seeking in order to protect public health and safety and ensure monitoring.
  • License for the radioactive waste dump site is on appeal.

The site is inadequate.
USGS maps show the region to be seismically active. Groundwater would be as little as 14 feet below the bottom of the trenches, which is way too close. Nine TCEQ staff members unanimously recommended denial of the license, and three employees quit in protest of licensing the WCS site. What happens if underground aquifers become contaminated? The Ogallala Aquifer underlies eight states, below the wheat and soy-growing heart of our nation.

Who stands to benefit?
Only privately held WCS, which is headed up by Dallas billionaire Harold Simmons, who may get richer yet by dumping radioactive waste on West Texas. The rest of us could end up paying to clean radioactively contamination.

Halt the VOTE!
With no safeguards in place and not a single limit on the radioactive waste that could end up in Texas, the vote on the rule must be halted immediately. The Compact Commission should go back to square one and do things right. We can’t afford mistakes that could last for centuries.
More information will be posted at: www.TexasNuclearSafety.org.

The Import rule vote could occur at an all-day July 6th meeting will be held in Andrews, Texas. The location and agenda will be posted at the Compact Commission web site: www.tllrwdcc.org. Citizens can speak, but there is no guarantee that we will be allowed to speak BEFORE a vote occurs. Please attend this meeting if you can, and insist on being able to speak before Commissioners take up their agenda.

Prior to that their rules committee will meet in Arlington, Texas – on April 29th:
Thursday, April 29th, 8:30 AM at 1301 S. Bowen Rd., Suite 200, Arlington, TX 76013
If you can attend this Arlington meeting, please do so. Citizens can’t speak at this meeting, but you may be able to catch Commissioners during a break to tell them your thoughts, and you can show your support for protecting the health and lives of Texans by your presence.

Thanks for all that you do,

Karen Hadden
Executive Director
Sustainable Energy & Economic Development (SEED) Coalition