Andrews dump site

March 6, 2009

OA Online

About 25 people came to the Big Daddy's Grill & Bar Friday evening to discuss and mostly support the repealing of a license granted last month for a hazardous waste site being built in Andrews by Dallas-based Waste Control Specialists.

About two-thirds of the people there also signed a letter directed to State Rep. Tyron Lewis (R-Odessa) asking him to support a hearing on the license, which several groups in the meeting contested.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality issued WCS a license in January to dispose of three types of low-level radioactive waste at the site near Andrews. WCS also was given a license to dispose of hazardous waste at the facility.

"That is under appeal, and we are not giving up," said Executive Director Karen Hadden of the Sustainable Energy and Economic Development Coalition.

Hadden and a few other speakers spoke out on the Andrews facility and speculated on the possibility of seeing heavy nuclear waste such as fuel rods going to Andrews.

"We just want to put everyone on the alert," said Eunice, N.M., resident Rose Gardner, a frequent critic of the Andrews plant.

A spokesman for the company said in January that the Dallas company hopes to be disposing of waste from sites including power plants, hospitals and university research centers by July 2010.

"It is not nuclear fuel rods or anything like that,"

he said at the time of the licensing.

On Friday, some said they came just to learn more about the facility. "We got to do something to deal with the nuclear waste and what I want to know is this a safe way to dispose of nuclear waste," Odessa College teacher and Sierra Club member Lynnette Schillo said. As far as her opinion, "I'm still up in the air."

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