Andrews County, Texas County is fighting high-level nuclear waste with new law.

ANDREWS, Texas (KOSA) – For months, federal momentum built to dump high-level nuclear waste in Andrews County.

“This process can continue. And that is strictly not in our hands. It goes to the federal government, ”Andrews County judge Charlie Falcon said in July as the county passed a resolution against the storage of highly radioactive nuclear waste. This resolution did not carry much weight, but perhaps it could be a new state law.

“I think it is very important to make sure that their voices are prioritized and that their voices are heard in the process,” said Rep. Brooks Landgraf, who made the law.

This law takes a two-pronged approach. First, it prohibits storage of the waste in Texas. Second, it prohibits the issuing of building permits for the construction or operation of plants for high-level radioactive waste.

“This law is really more aimed at addressing imports of waste coming from other parts of the country as directed by the Biden administration,” Landgraf said.

The law does not apply to existing nuclear reactors and storage facilities.

It remains to be seen whether the law will last. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is expected to clear Andrews County for storage next week, sparking a potential battle between Texas and the federal government.

“If the NRC wants to push this forward as a federal state problem, I think we can expect that, but I think the NRC and the Biden government can count on a fight,” said Landgraf.

MP Landgraf said he hoped it didn’t come to that, citing similar cases where the federal government had complied with a state request not to be the site of nuclear facilities.

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