Your presence is needed! A newly announced hearing will be held in Austin, December 9th – The time is yet to be determined.
Building E, Room 201
12100 Park 35 Circle
Austin, TX 78753
- Read the proposed radioactive import rule here.
- Low Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact Commission Action Letter
Texas is at risk of becoming the nation’s radioactive dumping ground. Governor Perry knew that Texans don’t want to be dumped on, and kept this issue out of the spotlight during election season. Now that the elections are over and the winter holiday season is underway, the Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact Commission is rushing to approve rules that would open Andrews County in West Texas up to radioactive waste from around the country.
Loopholes abound when it comes to laws regarding radioactive waste. While excluding radioactive waste from international sources, the proposed rule doesn’t require processors to document the origin of waste that they handle. International radioactive waste could get re-labeled as Tennessee waste if it was processed there. Texas could become the international radioactive waste dumping ground as well.
None of this makes sense. The Andrews County dumpsite is geologically inadequate. Water is too close beneath the bottom of trenches where radioactive waste would be buried. All the TCEQ staff members unanimously recommended denying the license because of the high risk of radioactive contamination of water. Three TCEQ staff members have resigned over the licensing of the site.
Texas would bear increased financial and environmental risks. The legislature has not had time to weigh in on whether waste from around the country should be allowed in, or whether it should be limited to the Compact states of Texas and Vermont, as originally portrayed. They have not yet had a chance to address Texas’ financial liability or emergency preparedness, including the increased risks from highway or train accidents, or contamination at the site.
Who would benefit from an expanded radioactive waste dump? Harold Simmons, a Dallas billionaire and owner of Waste Control Specialists (WCS), would reap profits. Nuclear reactors owners would also benefit by having lower disposal rates, through a volume discount approach. The Andrews County Compact dump site is mainly for disposal of the four existing Texas reactors and the existing Vermont Yankee reactor, which may be decommissioned soon due to public outcry over tritium leaks and contamination.
Very hot radioactive weapons waste from Fernald, Ohio is already buried at an adjacent dump at the WCS site, and PCB’s and other toxic and hazardous materials are at another portion of the site. It’s time to protect Texas and halt the nuclear madness. Take action now!
Call your Texas Representative and Senator today and urge that the Compact Commission vote on the radioactive waste import rule be halted until the Legislature has had time to review financial and environmental risks, and hearings have been held in communities that would be impacted by increased radioactive waste transport shipments. To find out who represents you, go to www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us.