Fight Over Radioactive Waste Disposal in Andrews Heats Up Again

by Victor Lopez
NewsWest 9

ANDREWS COUNTY--An environmental group in Austin is trying to keep the Waste Control Specialists (WCS) site from expanding.  Now, both those for and against a low-level radioactive dump in Andrews County are taking the next stage of their fight to the Internet.

According to an e-mail from Waste Control Specialists President, Rod Baltzer, extremists against anything nuclear are trying to block their progress.

In the e-mail, Baltzer says the Austin-based group, Texans for Public Health and Safety is resorting to what he calls scare tactics and misleading information to keep WCS from handling any radioactive waste.

The group has created a web site, asking anyone who is opposed to this waste disposal, to send their comments directly to the Texas Compact Commission (TCC).  That's the group that will ultimately have the last word on whether or not low level waste disposal continues at the facility.

WCS officials tell NewsWest 9, this is all sour grapes from unhappy environmentalists.

"There is a handful of environmental extremists in Austin, who have been fighting and losing against this facility for 20 years now.  Now that we are in the rule making process, they are, once again, trying to distort reality by flooding in comments from Austin to the TCC, regarding rules around this waste disposal," WCS spokesman, Chuck McDonald, said..

WCS is taking a page out of the same book.  Since Andrews recently received their first of many payments for the waste disposal, they are asking supporters to send comments to the Compact Commission as well.  They too have created a web site to push their side.

The TCC will hold a public hearing in Andrews on April 6th to get more feedback before they meet again on May 11th.  At that time, they'll consider adopting rules and guidelines over what waste will be accepted and disposed of in Andrews County.

We've provided links to Waste Control Specialists and Texans for Public Health and Safety on our web site, just click the News Links button at the top of this page.