Some environmentalist groups want the Federal Government to come out and investigate the Waste Control Specialists site in Andrews County. The groups actually filed a complaint with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Environmental Protection Agency saying the site has a lot of potential risks like groundwater contamination.
When finished, this Waste Control Specialist site will dispose of low-level radio active waste. According to WCS, anytime ‘nuclear anything’ is involved there will be groups opposing it. On the flip side, one Andrews’s resident says it has nothing to do with nuclear from his point of view. He just wants more research done before any kind of waste is disposed of in his backyard.
"EPA and TCEQ are having a big fight over air emissions which has nothing to do with WCS, so these folks are trying to jump on that news story and say TCEQ isn't doing a good job on the low-level radio-active waste either. So they want the Feds to come in here," explains Spokesperson for WCS, Chuck McDonald.
"I don't think it's fair to select the site and over rule scientists and engineers who have spoken out against this and issue licenses anyways. And, I think a national agency or organization is the best way to go about that," says Concerned Andrews Citizen, Timothy Gannaway.
TCEQ is the regulatory body that issued WCS the license to dispose of low-level radio active waste. And since the EPA is already looking into the TCEQ for faulty air permits. Gannaway thinks the EPA or the NRC should also take a look at the WCS license too.
"We think this is the same thing, endangering our environment, perhaps even a water supply the Ogallala Aquifer, which serves 8 states," says Gannaway.
"The current chairman of the NRC has been out the site, 5 of the 6 NRC Commissioners have been out the site they pay pretty close attention to the WCS licensed to handle low-level radio active waste," says McDonald.
We asked McDonald why he thinks so many people go after WCS and this Andrews County disposal site?
"The reason the attacks are coming against WCS is because these are organizations that have a state public agenda that oppose the generation of nuclear powered electricity in the United States," says McDonald.
McDonald believes those organizations hope, if you take away a place to store nuclear waste…that could get rid of all nuclear waste. However, for the time being, McDonald says there's got to be a place to put it for now. So, what WCS is trying to accomplish could even be considered helpful to the environment.
"We just need to be concerned and sure here. We don't want to see human error cause any kind of disastrous effect or cause this area to be uninhabitable. This is our home, we need to be careful," says Gannaway.
On a side note, TCEQ is expected to be at the WCS site tomorrow.