Andrews Community Reacts to Compact Commission Vote

By Geena Martinez
NewsWest 9

ANDREWS - The Texas Compact Commission voted on Tuesday to approve a rule that would allow more than 30 states to have their nuclear waste sent to a site in Andrews County.

It's been a long process that's been widely debated on both sides and opponents against it said the fight is far from over.

"We'll be talking to the lawyers to see what our next step is, but we're not giving up this fight," Tim Gannaway, with Promote Andrews, said.

Gannaway and the rest of Promote Andrews said they're not taking this sitting down. On Tuesday, the Texas Low-Level Radioactive Compact Commission voted to approve rules that would allow over half the nation to have their waste sent to the Permian Basin.

This was a move Promote Andrews tried to stop from happening just last week.

"We had Thursday, a temporary restraining order against the Commission that would've prevented this vote," Gannaway said. "Within three days, we saw that appealed and we saw that moved to two different courts and dissolved."

Gannaway feels the recent legal proceedings were rushed so the commission could have the meeting.

NewsWest 9 took to the streets in Andrews to see what citizens thought about the meeting.

"We're going to have it around us, like a bomb, put it that way" concerned citizen, Raul Vasquez, said. "It's going to be like a bomb around our town."

"I just figure it's gotta go somewhere and nobody wants it in their backyard," citizen William Worster said. "Somebody's going to end up with it."

One resident was on the fence about the issue.

"I'm for it and against it at the same time, simply because it will bring jobs for the area here," Oscar Romo said. "But I'm also against it because that's bringing poison into the area."

Gannaway estimates the waste site will only bring about 51 jobs to the area and he said it could hurt Andrews in the future.

"This isn't going to benefit Andrews, this is going to benefit a few millionaires and billionaires in Dallas. I don't think this is a good project for Andrews County. In fact, it will end up costing us money in the long term," he said. "I think if the public does their own research. They'll find out that this Waste Control Specialists project isn't all that's it's cracked up to be."