MIDLAND COUNTY, TX (KWES) - It's the talk about high-level nuclear waste in Andrews County to be transported through Midland. Midland County commissioners are meeting a third time at their meeting on Monday and will hear more from residents before they act on a resolution.
Waste Control Specialists applied for their license to store high-level nuclear waste in Andrews County but that waste is said to be transported by rail through Midland County leaving residents concerned.
"Midland County Residents should take precedence over what a company wants to do 65 miles away from here," said county resident David Rosen and chairman of the Midland County Democratic Party. "This is not one political party bashing another. This is asking our county commissioners to listen to what we're saying."
The last two Midland County Commissioner meetings addressed issues and concerns from residents. The court hasn't and won't vote on a resolution just yet. This is because they'll have to address federal funding for first-responder trainings during the transportation, public meetings on the proposed route, and railroad inspections. Waste Control Specialists told us that the company has had about 50 to 60 years of experience with no accidents, and that transporting by rail is the most convenient method.
"Rail is proven to be the safest, these containers weigh so much, you can't move them on trucks conveniently," said Tom Jones with Waste Control Specialists.
But although transporting the waste through Midland County is in fact, in Midland County, a resolution will be sent to federal officials since it's a federal project. The nuclear waste project will be one of the first items discussed on Monday at the Midland County Courthouse at 9 a.m. where they will receive comments and a presentation on the plan.
"Now is the time to raise these concerns about risks to our community's health and safety, since NRC is asking for public comment," said Rosen. "Midland County should consider the potential impacts of an accident or radiation leak on people and local businesses. Homeowners' insurance does not cover radioactive contamination. There would be costs to the County for additional emergency responder training and equipment as well."
A similar resolution was passed in Bexar County where they opposed the high-level nuclear waste to pass through San Antonio. But, just like Midland County, regardless of a resolution, county commissioners have no power if federal regulators continue with the project.