Vermont Waste, Lone Star Storage

Vital vote on radioactive waste this morning

Vermont Waste, Lone Star Storage
by Centers for Disease Control

Bible belt, bread basket – public dump? Neither endearing nor positive, the latter could become Texas’ nickname after a vote on Saturday in Midland.

The Texas Low Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact Commission’s eight governor-appointed members will meet to discuss and vote on provisions that would allow other states, and possibly countries, to dispose of radioactive waste in the Lone Star State.

More than a decade old, the Texas-Maine-Vermont radioactive waste compact has reached a potentially explosive point. The compact allows Texas to be the host state for a shared radioactive facility to Vermont (Maine dropped out in 2002). But as more states search for a national site, Texas could likely become a catch-all for the whole country.

The Lone Star Sierra Club, at the forefront of the compact’s opposition since its birth, has voiced concerns over the potential snowball effect of two items up for approval on Saturday’s agenda. The group posits that allowing a proposed radioactive waste dump in Andrews County to start burying compact waste in the ground could lead to atomic waste being shipped in from all around the globe.

"There is not enough space for the six million cubic feet of waste that are expected to be generated in Texas and Vermont," said Terry Burns, a volunteer with the Permian Basin Sierra Club. "There is no way the Commission should even consider allowing contracts to bring in waste from outside the two-state compact."

The Sierra Club will host a public meeting to discuss citizens concerns and answer questions just before the commission meets. The public meeting will be at 9:45 a.m. at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin Center for Energy and Economic Diversification.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Sierra Club
SXSW Eco: The Culture War to Save the World
SXSW Eco: The Culture War to Save the World
Punk, hip-hop and literature sign up for the eco fight

Richard Whittaker, Oct. 9, 2013

Bringing the Enviro 'Entourage' to SXSW Eco
Bringing the Enviro 'Entourage' to SXSW Eco
Adrian Grenier, UN policy creators getting green in Austin

Richard Whittaker, Aug. 21, 2013

More Environment
Mixing Up Your Environmentalism
Mixing Up Your Environmentalism
Plateaued on your earth-friendly efforts? Here are a few ideas to help.

Bonny Chu, Nov. 30, 2018

SXSW Eco 2015: <i>Racing Extinction</i>
SXSW Eco 2015: Racing Extinction
Mass extinction is coming, and we're to blame

Richard Whittaker, Oct. 7, 2015

More by Kelsey McNiel
Strama Takes Anti-Bullying Laws to the Next Level
Strama Takes Anti-Bullying Laws to the Next Level
Bills address cyber-bullying and campus removals

Dec. 10, 2010

Nationwide Waste Coming Soon?
Nationwide Waste Coming Soon?
Citizens have 30 days to comment on new dumping rule

Nov. 19, 2010


Sierra Club, Environment, Nuclear Waste, Texas Low Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact Commission, Texas-Vermont Compact

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle