Nationwide Waste Coming Soon?
Citizens have 30 days to comment on new dumping rule
By Kelsey McNiel,
5:07PM, Fri. Nov. 19, 2010
It will be Facebook without the "like" button: citizens will have 30 days to comment on the proposed rule from the Texas Low Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact Commission allowing individual nuclear power plants and states to apply to dump waste in Texas. However, environmentalists are warning that the commission is not ready for this change.
"The intent of the compact is to limit the amount of radioactive waste disposed of in Texas," said Cyrus Reed, conservation director of the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club. "The intention of the legislature was not to create a site to become the nation’s dumping ground."
Unless the rule is met with significant pushback from the public, Reed said, the rule will likely be adopted sometime in January, with the proposed dumping site expected to be ready approximately six months later. Reed added that Waste Control Specialists, a private waste processing and disposal company, had been encouraging the commission to adopt the rule by promising to charge Vermont and Texas lower rates to dump radioactive waste. Reed said, "Waste Control Specialists very much wants to be able to import waste so that they can charge Texas and Vermont a whole lot less, and they say that will be advantageous to Texas."
However, Reed warned that if the rule is approved, the commission has said that applications for dumping will have to be approved on a case-by-case basis. Yet, like many underfunded state agencies, it has no budget nor staff to handle such a workload. Reed added, "They shouldn’t be proposing a rule before they even know if they’ll have a budget for the next two years or what that budget will be."
For more information on the meeting, see the previous post.