We Do NOT Consent – Public Scoping Meetings
Waste Control Specialists (WCS) wants to dump 40,000 tons of deadly high-level radioactive waste, parking lot style, and store it for 40 to 100 years in the desert, where climate extremes and fracking abound. What could go wrong?
There were two NRC scoping meetings on the WCS’ radioactive waste storage license, one in Hobbs, NM (Feb. 13th) and one in Andrews, TX, (Feb. 15th).
The message came through loud and clear from local and regional folks – WE DON’T WANT IT! Last year The DOE tried to tell the rest of the country that Andrews wants this waste – but the people in targeted communities never got to vote and 90% of the people we’ve talked to are opposed.
Andrews County Commissioners passed a resolution in 2015 in favor of the ill-conceived plan that hardly anyone knew about until recently, which is hardly "informed consent."
Rose Gardner and her family have been speaking up and taking action for years. Rose spoke to the Mayor and City Council of Eunice on Valentines’ evening, and spoke at both the Hobbs and Andrews NRC meetings – on the 13th and 15th. All this during the busiest time of the year for her as a florist. Eunice is the closest city to the WCS site – only 5 miles away. The proposed Eddy Lea Energy Alliance (Holtec) consolidated storage project would be nearby as well.
Humberto Acosta has led efforts in Andrews for two years now, joined by Agustino Cordova, who is 80 years old and full of life and fire. Elizabeth Padilla is a young Mom from Andrews. She and her family and friends have now jumped in and become involved, and others in the community are speaking out now as well. Former State Representative Lon Burnam has made numerous trips to the West Texas region to organize and connect people.
David Rosen and others in Midland and Odessa organized two local meetings and a press conference, and then participated in both hearings. They made a huge impact too, and have raised concerns about the risk of radioactive waste trains and water contamination. Muralist Noel Marquez gave a beautiful and empowering speech in Hobbs and brought friends in from Roswell.
Susybelle Gosslee got support from the National League of Women Voters for her strong statement of opposition to radioactive waste dumping and she delivered it beautifully, to the applause, standing ovation and sign waving of an appreciative crowd.
Diane D’Arrigo from Nuclear Information and Resource Service and Kevin Kamps from Beyond Nuclear were invaluable, helping get information out to concerned citizens, speaking powerfully and providing detailed accurate information to reporters. We’re so grateful to them for their key role and for coming all this way to help out. Tom “Smitty” Smith and Public Citizen were also key in organizing, strategizing and getting materials and information out.
The star of the night in Andrews was young Raymond Ramos who took the microphone and spoke boldly, with his mother supporting him with an arm around him. It was moving and powerful.
Opponents of radioactive waste dumping were strong in numbers, organized, vocal and clear in the message of It’s an honor to know and work with everyone involved, and to learn so much from amazing local people.
Houston, DFW, San Antonio and El Paso are all at risk since trains carrying deadly cargo could rumble through these and other cities. A single train car could contain as much plutonium as the bomb dropped on Nagasaki.
If we work together we can stop the unnecessary transport of high-level radioactive waste!