Waste Control Specialists of Dallas, which operates a controversial dump site in far West Texas and in close proximitely to the Ogallla Aquifer, has made headlines again in an Associated Press report  that revealed a recent routine inspection at the site in Andrews found cracks up to an inch wide in a 10-acre asphalt pad near canisters of radioactive material. As well, the company will receive a notice of violation from the Texas Commision on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) for having stored a concrete canister of the hottest low-level radioactive waste (LLRW) past the 365 days allowed under its current licence.

Last month, I wrote in
"Debate Over Radioactive Waste in Texas Gets Hot" for Texas Construction and Engineering News-Record,about the West Texas waste site's plans for constructing a new LLRW facility already licensed by the TCEQ and the Texas Low-Level Waste Disposal Compact Commission charged with deciding if Texas can import waste from outside the compact to the private dump site owned by WCS.

The commission postponed a meeting in May to decide if Texas should accept radioactive waste from as many as 36 states. It has yet to set a new date to vote on the proposed rules for importing more waste to the site under a compact agreement.

The commission was established by a federal statute encouraging states to make deals for disposing of LLRW. It is run jointly by six Texans, appointed by Gov. Rick Perry, and two Vermont members.

Local media, meanwhile, continue to question links between Gov. Rick Perry and Waste Control Specialists' owner, Harold Simmons, a Perry supporter and major donor to the Texas governor's campaign since 2001.

Environmental groups as well as a group of Texas legislators, among others, express concerns about the compact commission's qualifications to oversee waste import, the site's proximity to the aquifer and a host of liability and health issues Texas might face if the commission allows the dump to accept the additional waste.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality says it will issue a notice of violation to WCS for the latest "potential issues related to repackaging and transportation" and will allow the waste to remain on the WCS site as long as the company complies with TCEQ's correction requirements.

Nine TCEQ staff members who reviewed the new LLRW facility license permit recommended denying it and three TCEQ employees quit in protest of licensing the site.