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Andrews Co. Commissioners vote unanimously for resolution against storage of high-level nuclear waste

Published: Jul. 15, 2021 at 4:55 PM CDT
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ANDREWS, Texas (KOSA) - In what might have been the most cordial debate in the history American government, the Andrews County Commissioner’s Court passed a resolution against the disposal of high-level nuclear waste in Andrews County.

People came from all over the county. They stood at the podium, in an upstairs courtroom, and at home via Zoom. Some were just passing by.

“I was on another errand and decided to stop by and see what everyone was talking about and found a way to say a few words in the meeting,” said resident Justice Lee.

After over an hour of hearing arguments both for and against the storage of high-level nuclear waste, the council voted unanimously to pass a resolution against it based heavily on citizen input.

“What we did is start with emails, phone calls, office visits, etc.,” said Andrews County Judge Charlie Falcon. “As they came in and talked with us, that gave us a feeling of what our constituents wanted.”

But for every winner, there’s a loser. Supporters of bringing the waste to Andrews argued it would bring in new jobs and was perfectly safe.

“I think there’s a lot of people who don’t understand what spent nuclear fuel rods entails and what the safety risks are for them,” Lee said.

But the opposition was stronger. And yet, there was no animosity between the two sides, especially from Waste Control Specialists, who stood to benefit the most from the nuclear waste.

“It’s just that our community opposed high level,” Falcon said.

This doesn’t mean the waste will not be stored in Andrews County. That decision will be left up to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

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