Vermont Waste, Lone Star Storage
Vital vote on radioactive waste this morning
By Kelsey McNiel,
9:00AM, Sat. Nov. 13, 2010
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.