HB 2184 will probably be voted out of the Texas House State Affairs Committee later this afternoon and so far, legislation that impacts how much, from where and how safely radioactive waste will be stored at a West Texas site is moving forward in favor of the private operator, giving them the power to negotiate private deals to import waste, make a gigantic profit and do it without any oversight by Texas regulatory agencies or the Texas Low-level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact Commission.
According to an article in Mother Jones:
The compact allows him (Simmons) to get paid for burying other states’ nuclear trash while outsourcing much of the risk to Texas taxpayers. Though the state will receive a cut of disposal fees and $36 million to cover “corrective action” and ”post-closure” expenses, it will have to bear any other cleanup costs on its own. According to a report by the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission: “Potential future contamination [from the waste] could not only have a severe impact to the environment and human health, but to the State, which bears the ultimate financial responsibility for compact waste disposal facility site.“
Click here to read the recent Mother Jones article on the history and issues with this site.
In light of the massive cleanup that faces Japan from the radiation that is flooding the area around the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant in the wake of its ongoing recovery efforts – seemingly contributed to by Japan’s failure to adequately regulate and reign in the runaway plant operator, is it in Texas’ best interest to just let this company have their way with us?
This bill will go next to the floor of the House and if it continues to move, as we expect it will given the money and influence behind it, on to a Senate committee. If we are to have any chance of making this bill more protective of the health, well-being and pocketbooks of regular Texans, regular Texans are going to have to let their lawmakers know they are concerned.