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Harold Simmons Waits As TCEQ Moves Quickly, Quietly on Radioactive Waste Dumping

Back in February 2009, then-Observer-er Alexa Schirtzinger wrote about how General Electric was burying millions of cubic yards of Hudson River carcinogens out at the West Texas dumping ground owned by Dallas billionaire Harold Simmons, the wizard behind Waste Control Specialists. Which I was reminded of this afternoon when I came across this press release from Nuke Free Texas. Because in case you forgot: A few years ago, Simmons got the okee-doke from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to dispose of low-level radioactive waste out in Andrews.

Nothing's happened yet, but only because the Texas Low Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact Commission, made up mostly of Governor Rick Perry appointees, hasn't yet voted on whether Texas can import radioactive waste from outside the state. But the clock's a-tickin': As Nuke Free Texas (which consists of the SEED Coalition and Public Citizen) points out, the commission began, very quietly, taking public comments three days ago, with the comment period ending the day after Christmas; a hearing is scheduled in Austin in between, on December 9.

Per the release, Tom "Smitty" Smith of Public Citizen has one thing to say about all that: "Dallas billionaire Harold Simmons, owner of Waste Control Specialists (WCS), would reap the profits, while citizens bear all the risks. Federal agencies and legislators should examine the increased risks of rail and highway accidents if radioactive waste was shipped from around the country as well as whether emergency responders are equipped to deal with accidents involving radioactive spills."

Those needing a refresher course would do well to read the D piece from February 2010: "Harold Simmons Is Dallas' Most Evil Genius."

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