The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has an important decision to make today. They must decide whether to make Texas a dumping ground for the nations radioactive waste. A site is being prepared in West Texas (in Andrews County) at this time to receive that waste.
The TCEQ has to choose between three options. They can give Dallas-based Waste Control Specialists a license to operate the radioactive waste site, they can deny the license, or they can send the matter to an administrative judge to hear the concerns of those opposed to the site.
I hope they choose either the second or third option, because this site is just too close to the acquifer providing water to all of the South Plains and the Panhandle.
The waste company claims the site is dry and the radioactive waste cannot possibly get into the fresh-water acquifer. A geologist who used to work for the TCEQ disagrees. She says there is water in the clay at the site and this would cause the waste to be moved over time. Remember, this waste must be safely stored for hundreds of years.
Why should we take this chance? If the company is wrong, a huge protion of North and West Texas could be left with radioactively-poisoned water. Without water, the South Plains and Panhandle would become uninhabitable. There has to be a better place for this dangerous waste to be stored.
The Sierra Club's Lone Star Chapter is holding a rally today in Austin. They still hope to convince the TCEQ to deny the license or at least submit the matter to an administrative judge. I wish them luck.
The issuance of this license could be a disaster-in-waiting for West Texas.