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Texas OKs dump policy

Texas can import low-level radioactive waste from 36 other states, a commission run jointly by Texas and Vermont has decided.

Despite concerns raised by environmentalists regarding the possibility of groundwater pollution, the Texas Low-Level Radioactive Commission voted 5-2 to pass the measure, which will permit a number of additional states to export nuclear waste to an Andrews County dump owned by Waste Control Specialists. The site previously only accepted waste from Texas, Vermont and the federal government.

Waste Control could bury waste as soon as October at its 1,300-acre disposal site. The low-level dump can be used to bury radioactively contaminated trash such as rags, syringes and protective clothing from nuclear plants or hospitals.

The commission also guaranteed Vermont preferred space of 20 percent capacity. Vermont has only one nuclear facility, which it plans to phase out in the next 30 or 40 years.

The proposal drew more than 5,000 public comments, The Associated Press reported.

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