I 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…)