Strong Majority Of Texas Voters Opposed To Radioactive Waste Landfill

Sierra Club

For Immediate Release
Lone Star Chapter, Sierra Club
Thursday, April 29, 2010:

For More Information on the Poll:
Paul Maslin, FM3 Research
Phone Number: 608-204-5877

For More Information on Proposed Import of Radioactive Waste into Texas:
Cyrus Reed, Lone Star Chapter, Sierra Club
Phone Number: 512-740-4086


(Austin) The Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club released results of a survey today by pollster Paul Maslin showing that the strong majority of Texas voters oppose having a radioactive waste landfill in Texas.

The Texas Low Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact Commission is currently considering a rule that would allow Waste Control Specialists to import radioactive waste from other states to their radioactive waste dump in Andrews County, Texas along the state’s border with New Mexico. The Commission is poised to consider the Waste
Importation Agreement rule at a public meeting on May 11th in Andrews, Texas.

Pollster Paul Maslin, who conducted the study, said that the results were emphatic:

"Texans clearly have an initial negative reaction to this landfill based on just a little information. As they hear more details, their opposition grows stronger and solidifies. When the potential to actually import waste from other states or countries is mentioned, opposition goes through the roof. This is a pretty vivid example of their desire that folks ‘don’t mess with Texas.’"

In a telephone survey* of 600 likely 2010 Texas general election voters, FM3 Research found a strong majority opposed to disposing of radioactive waste in the landfill that has been licensed in Andrews County in West Texas. The initial question was asked with no accompanying context or explanation of the issue or the details about
the landfill, except its location.

"Based on your understanding of the issues, does disposing of radioactive waste in a new landfill in Andrews County sound like something you would support or oppose?"

Total Support 21%
Total Oppose 59% (44% "strongly oppose")
Don’t Know 21%

When voters were read a brief description of the landfill, including the fact that the site is "located in close proximity to the Ogallala Aquifer", opposition rose even further to 70%, with a majority (55%) now saying they strongly oppose the disposing of radioactive waste in this new landfill.

And when a subsequent question mentioned that the new landfill would "accept radioactive waste, not just from Texas, but from all over the country", opposition peaked at an extraordinary level of 80%, with now two-thirds strongly opposed to the disposal of radioactive waste in the West Texas landfill.

The survey was conducted from April 6-11 2010 among 600 respondents who are registered to vote and selected because they are likely to vote this November based on their past voting history and current vote intentions. The margin of error is +/ 4.0%.

The Lone Star Chapter, Sierra Club provided input into the development of the questions related to radioactive waste and the proposed import of radioactive waste into Texas.

"This poll shows conclusively that Texans do not want to import the nation’s radioactive waste to Texas," said Cyrus Reed, Conservation Director with the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club. "This survey shows that Sierra Club and other environmental organizations have the strong majority of Texas voters behind us when we say ‘No’, to the radioactive waste importation agreements."


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