Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Going Nuclear in West Texas

by Forrest Wilder, Austin-based freelance writer

Waste Control Specialists successfully fought two years ago for a federal radioactive waste dump site in Andrews County. They're now facing a stiff fight from Sen. Robert Duncan (R-Lubbock), whose district borders Andrews County, despite the millions of dollars in campaign contributions to various Republican and Democratic legislators - a small price to pay for the projected $100 billion in profits - that it took to pass the legislation last biennium.

The state may look to impose a 5 percent fee to allocate more money for education, but once that happens, the dump site will never go away, explains Colin Leyden, legislative director for Rep. Lon Burnam (D-Fort Worth). That move would bring with it long-term health consequences for the region that thought it was getting a quick-fix to their financial problems.

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