ACT BY MONDAY, MARCH 22

ISSUE

Waste Control Specialists (WCS) has applied to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for a Consolidated Interim Storage license for high-level radioactive waste. The license would allow the company to import 40,000 tons of deadly high-level waste and store it in Texas for decades. The license could be issued as soon as July or August of this year.

We must oppose HB 2692–a poison apple! The bill purportedly prohibits the consolidated interim storage of high-level radioactive waste–a goal that we support–but this bill does not do the job! A strong stand-alone bill is needed instead. See below for a list of key failures of this bill.

CONTACT HOUSE COMMITTEE ON ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATION

Every Texan can contact the House Committee members (contact info below). Please do so by committee hearing at 2 PM on Monday, March 22.

If you call or send an email, you can say:

My name is _______. I am a Texan living in _____ and my zip code is______. I am calling because I oppose House Bill 2692. I strongly believe that radioactive waste should not be imported into Texas. Texas should ban the disposal of high-level radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel, but HB 2692 will not accomplish this goal. Rather it gives away hundreds of millions of dollars of money that should go to the state, loosens safety requirements, and lowers ethical standards. Please vote NO on HB 2692! Thank you!

If you make a public comment online

Go HERE, fill in your contact information, then select “HB 2692 by Landgraf.”

You can write:

I oppose HB 2692. I strongly believe that radioactive waste should not be imported into Texas. Texas should ban the disposal of high-level radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel, but HB2692 will not accomplish this goal. Rather it gives away hundreds of millions of dollars of money that should go to the state, loosens safety requirements, and lowers ethical standards. Please vote NO on HB 2692! Thank you!”

House Committee on Environmental Regulation

  • Chair: Rep. Brooks Landgraf, brooks.landgraf@house.texas.gov, (512) 463-0546
  • Vice Chair: Rep. Alex Dominguez, alex.dominguez@house.texas.gov, (512) 463-0640
  • Rep. Jay Dean, jay.dean@house.texas.gov, (512) 463-0750
  • Rep. Vikki Goodwin, vikki.goodwin@house.texas.gov, (512) 463-0652
  • Rep. Kyle J. Kacal, kyle.kacal@house.texas.gov, (512) 463-0412
  • Rep. John Kuempel, john.kuempel@house.texas.gov, (512) 463-0602
  • Rep. Penny Morales Shaw, penny.moralesshaw@house.texas.gov, (512) 463-0620
  • Rep. Geanie W. Morrison, geanie.morrison@house.texas.gov, (512) 463-0456
  • Rep. Ron Reynolds, ron.reynolds@house.texas.gov, (512) 463-0494

KEY FAILURES OF THE BILL*

  • Fails to include Greater Than Class C waste – very hot high-level radioactive waste that is a major part WCS/ISP’s Consolidated Interim Storage license application.
  • Does not require Interim Storage Partners to withdraw its NRC license application.
  • Does not clarify definition of “person” to include a corporation, company, partnership, firm, association, society or other legal entity. Would the NRC or DOE be allowed to store or dispose of high-level radioactive waste under this bill since the federal government is excluded in the definition of person?
  • Article 1 “findings” portion reads like paid advertising and has no place in a bill. The Poison: surcharge changes would cost the State of Texas many millions of dollars.
  • Would reduce the 20% surcharge that WCS collects from customers to 5% and entirely eliminates a 5% state fee for low-level radioactive waste going to WCS. This could cost Texas hundreds of millions of dollars or more in lost fees over time. TECQ’s 2016 surcharge study suggested leaving the surcharge and fee in place.
  • TCEQ says that 86 reactors could send their low-level radioactive waste from decommissioning to Texas. The NRC says that there are 23 US reactors in various stages of decommissioning. These huge volumes of waste will bring huge revenues for WCS. The company has no competitors for disposal of Class B and C, the hotter waste. The surcharge and fee are added onto the full contract price and passed along to the state, which WCS originally agreed to do. Texas may need this revenue later to clean up contamination. Some goes to General Revenue.
  • The bill likely underestimates the state’s potential financial losses, because it looks backward at what has been disposed of at the site previously, failing to consider many massive decommissioning projects that will soon send radioactive waste to Texas.
  • Removes the requirement to containerize Class A waste – a necessary safety measure.
  • Removes annual limits on the amount of waste that can come to WCS, speeding up disposal. The existing more measured approach is less risky.
  • Repeals the requirement for contracts to be negotiated in good faith, conform to applicable antitrust statutes and regulations, and be nondiscriminatory (TX Health and Safety Code Section 401.2456 (d).

* Data provided by Public Citizen SEED (Sustainable Energy & Economic Development) Coalition.

FOR MORE

Bill text

For more information, you can contact:

  • Karen Hadden, SEED Coalition, 512-797-8481, karendhadden@gmail.com
  • Lon Burnam, Public Citizen’s Texas Office, 817-721-5846, lon.burnam@gmail.com