Consider This: Special guest commentary from Rod Baltzer - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Consider This: Special guest commentary from Rod Baltzer

Rod Baltzer, President of Waste Control Specialists Rod Baltzer, President of Waste Control Specialists

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Hello, I'm Rod Baltzer, President of Waste Control Specialists. I'd like to thank Dan Jackson for allowing me tell you a little more about our low-level radioactive waste disposal site in Andrews County.

WCS received a lot of publicity earlier this month when the Texas Low Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact Commission approved a rule governing the import of low-level radioactive waste into Texas.  This rule will ultimately allow Texas generators to pay less for the disposal of their waste which should result in you and me paying less for our electricity.

What has been largely overlooked, however, is the final rule is the result of a 16-month process that involved unprecedented public participation.

Beginning in August 2009, the rule has been formally discussed and debated at six separate Compact Commission meetings. This included two separate public comment periods lasting a total of 90 days and five public hearings.  The process generated almost 10,000 comments.

It doesn't get more open or more public than that…more than 16 months in an open, public, transparent process just to get a rule completed.

But the scrutiny of this project and our disposal site began long before that.

It started in 2004 when WCS applied to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality for a license to dispose of low-level radioactive waste. TCEQ took five years to examine the site to make sure there would be no problems. They looked at the site design, its geology, and the lack of water before granting the license in 2009. Again, the licensing involved many public hearings and comments.

Almost all of our employees live close to the facility.  Neither they nor I would advocate the disposal of radioactive waste at our facility if we thought it was unsafe or would cause harm to the environment or our communities. 

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