By Cierra Putman
ANDREWS – A heated debated in Andrews County continues as once again as supporters and protestors of storing radioactive waste locally face-off.
"At the beginning, I was for it because I thought hey new jobs and everything," Promote Andrews Protestor, Francisco Salciao, said.
For Salciao and his fellow protestors say hundreds of temporary jobs and 75 permanent ones just isn’t enough.
At least, not if it means Waste Control Specialists can bring radioactive waste into Andrews County.
"This waste is going to be trucked and trained from all across the United States into our home town and that’s very scary," Timothy Gannaway with Promote Andrews, said.
The protestors fear water contamination, even though Waste Control Specialists said that won’t happen. Most of Andrews sided with the company.
"I think it’s a sad thing for them to come and I think they just want to stir up trouble," WCS Supporter and Employee, Quincy Cronenworth, said. "The government watches over it, they have lots of licenses they have to get, so I know it’s environmentally safe."
A sea of green WCS supporters packed a disposal Compact Commission Meeting to support the company’s plan.
Around town, more signs of support as could be seen as WCS supporters who couldn’t make it to the meeting showed their support with actual signs. They put them on the back of cars, in front of houses and even outside of businesses.
Still, protestors didn’t care they were outnumbered.
"Waste Control Specialists spent a lot of time and money to make this town look like it’s in favor of them," Gannaway said. "We feel that’s very misleading. If you look at our signs, we made our own signs, we made our own shirts, this is definitely a grassroots movement. Waste Control Specialists is a corporate movement from a billionaire in Dallas who owns the facility."
WCS supporters say the benefits outweigh the risks.
"It’s an industry that has to be monitored, but with proper oversight, with proper safety precautions and regulatory issues, we think those things have been mitigated," Another WCS supporter, said.
But until the plan is finalized, Andrew’s minority will keep fighting against the majority.
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