West TX group to sue radio active waste commission - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

West TX group to sue radio active waste commission

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Tim Gannaway as seen in a Skype interview Tim Gannaway as seen in a Skype interview

By James Clark | email  

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – Should radio-active waste be stored within a two hour drive of Lubbock?  A group called "Promote Andrews" says no, at least not until Texas voters can be heard on the issue.

The group says it will file a lawsuit Thursday against the Texas Low Level Radio Active Waste Disposal Compact Commission.  Promote Andrews says the Commission is about to approve new rules that will allow radio-active waste from 36 states to be dumped in Andrews County. A vote is scheduled for January 4th.

A spokesman for Promote Andrews, Tim Gannaway, says not all its members are against the storage of low level nuclear waste.  But, he says they are all concerned that an email address for public comments was not functioning properly, which according to Gannaway, is going to be the basis of the lawsuit.

"They have to consider all comments submitted on this matter per state regulation," Gannaway said Wednesday in an interview via Skype from San Antonio where he attends college.  

A public comment period on the proposed new rules ran from early November through December 26th.

"We feel the commission was negligent in not accepting public comments to the address that was published in the official posting of the Texas Register," Gannaway continued.  "Unfortunately they did provide an alternate email address on their site so there's some confusion as to which email address was the proper email address when submitting comments."

Gannaway provided a screen capture showing the error message he received when trying to submit email comments.

Late Wednesday, Michael Ford, TLLRWDCC Chairman, returned a call for comment.  "We've gone above and beyond the requirements," Ford said.  "The Administrative Procedures Act does not require the use of an email."

Ford claims that a physical mailing address is required and the Commission met that requirement.  Nevertheless, he acknowledges a temporary problem with the email address that was listed in the Texas Register.

"We were notified of a problem.  We got it figured it out pretty quickly," Ford said.  "It's hard to see how anyone was robbed of their ability to comment since more than 5500 comments were received through the email address."

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