FT. WORTH, Texas _ Thirty-six states could start shipping loads of radioactive waste through Texas for more than a decade _ likely crisscrossing the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex on major highways and train tracks _ if they get approval this summer to send their contaminated materials to a West Texas disposal site.
The proposal to allow the states to send low-level waste to a site in Andrews County has prompted concern from some state lawmakers, who worry about the safety of communities along travel routes _ including the Interstate 20 corridor through North Texas _ and from environmentalists, who worry about radioactive leakage and contamination at the site.
An eight-member commission is expected to take up the issue in coming weeks, considering rules that would govern what materials are accepted and whether dozens of states should be allowed to send radioactive waste to the Waste Control Specialists' Texas site owned by Dallas billionaire Harold Simmons.
"This could open (Texas) up to not only become the nation's but potentially the world's dump site," said Cyrus Reed, conservation director for the Sierra Club's Lone Star Chapter. "We thought the intent ... was to take care of our own."
Waste Control Specialists' officials say the site is safe and opening the landfill to other states will reduce the cost for all. And many West Texans who live near the disposal site say they support the company.
"We are willing to be the solution for the low-level radioactive waste disposal," said Julia Wallace, the executive director of the Andrews County Chamber of Commerce. "They need somewhere to put it. This is the perfect place for it."
Others aren't so sure.
To read the complete article, visit star-telegram.com.