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Posts Tagged ‘Odessa’

radiationsignI have been remiss in my duties as Blog Lady because I haven’t told you anything about the slated Andrews County nuclear waste dump.  Oh, you hadn’t heard?  TCEQ approved a “low-level” radioactive dump out in the lower panhandle.  There wasn’t a contested case hearing — and citizens of Eunice, New Mexico, the closest town to the dump, haven’t been able to officially voice their opposition because they don’t have standing under state law.  The dump is also only licensed for 15 years, after which all that toxic waste will be the responsibility of the state.  Aaaaand the dump will be accepting waste, not just from Texas, but from all over the United States.

Check out the press release below for more information.  If you happen to live near Odessa, be sure to swing by Big Daddy’s Grill and Bar at 6 PM –  D’Arrigo will be speaking there this evening.  She will be joined by Dr. Terry Burns, with the Permian Basin Sierra Club, who will discuss health concerns, Rose Gardner – a concerned citizen from Eunice, New Mexico, the city nearest the radioactive waste dump, and SEED Coalition Director, Karen Hadden.

For a truly beautiful article on this issue, be sure to read Forrest Wilder’s Waste Texas: Why Andrews County is so eager to get dumped on in the newest Texas Observer.  That boy can really write.

Vince Leibowitz over at Capitol Annex also has a really good post on the legislative history of the dump.

Radioactive Risks for West Texas

Odessa, Texas – Texas environmental organizations hosted speaker Diane D’Arrigo, Radioactive Waste Project Director for the Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS) at a press conference today. She discussed the risks posed to Texans living near the so-called “low-level” radioactive waste dump in Andrews County.

“Low-level radioactive waste could remain dangerous for hundreds of thousands to over a million years,” said D’Arrigo. “Texas’ waste dump in Andrews County calls for a private company to manage a low-level dump, but the company would only be licensed to operate it for 15 years. They could then renew their license or decide to close the dump and walk away, leaving a toxic mess to the state of Texas. This could also happen if the company just folds up and vanishes into the night.” (more…)

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Am I “Crazy” for wondrin’ if lead in artificial turf is a bad thing, or have I just been listening to too much Willie Nelson lately?

grassThe Corpus Christi Caller-Times reports:

Some of the most hallowed ground in Texas — the artificial turf on its high school football fields — may also be toxic.

Fields in two of the state’s best-known high school stadiums, including the one made famous by the book and movie “Friday Night Lights,” have lead levels far exceeding the Environmental Protection Agency’s standard for soil, according to independent tests done within the last month.

The results, obtained by The Associated Press, are the first public indication that Texas’ prized high school stadiums have become part of the national controversy over whether artificial turf contains unsafe levels of lead.

Testing commissioned by the Ector County school district on the turf at Odessa’s Ratliff Stadium found lead at roughly 14 times the EPA standard. Similar testing by the Birdville school district in the Fort Worth suburb of North Richland Hills discovered a lead level nearly 10 times the EPA standard at that district’s stadium, the Fine Arts/Athletics Complex.

While tests indicated that the top part of the turf that players have the most contact with was not terribly toxic, the lower portions of the faux grass had high lead levels.  Water runoff from the Birdville field had lead levels twice the EPA’s drinking water standards, indicating that the lead was leaching into the environment — and perhaps, down the line, into groundwater.

In other states, schools that found lead levels much lower than what has been found in Texas were moved to actually shut down their facilities.  In New Jersey, two fields with lead levels 8 to 10 times the EPA’s soil standard were closed this April.  In California, a playground with levels just twice the EPA standard was closed down until the turf could be removed as hazardous waste.  But here in Texas, despite even higher lead levels, school district officials seem unconcerned.

What is it with Texas?  In a post last week on air toxics near schools, we learned that several Texas schools are surrounded by air pollution even worse than what has caused school closures in other states.  Now we’re finding lead on school premises in concentrations much higher than what has caused other states to take real action, and school district officials aren’t even concerned.  Do we just not believe in the health risks of toxic exposure? Do we not care about our kids?  Or are football and industry just higher priorities than a few children with brain damage and cancer?

Bah, humbug.

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