Waste Control Specialists: FrontBurner Presents “Gross Distortion of the Facts”

Yesterday Laray Polk wrote an item for us about Harold Simmons’ Waste Control Specialists and that company’s efforts to bury as much nuclear waste as it can in West Texas. The CEO of Waste Control didn’t much care for the item. Bill Lindquist says:

In regards to your recent online post, “Harold Simmons and Waste Control Specialists Race to Make Texas the Nation’s Nuclear Waste Dump,” by Laray Polk, I do agree with Ms. Polk’s characterization that her reporting of this issue is a “children’s fable.” However, unfortunately for your readers, Ms. Polk never read far enough in her research to get to the moral of the story.

There is no doubt that the WCS license is a long document; 52 pages with attachments. Ms. Polk obviously made it to the top of page 39 because she quotes from that part of the page. It’s truly unfortunate that she didn’t read the remainder of the page; another 150 words or so. Those next 150 words are clearly difficult to read because they contain a bunch of numbers. However, if Ms. Polk had read the remainder of the page and added up the numbers, she would have understood that 60 days prior to beginning operations, WCS must put into escrow $136.5 million for the benefit of the state of Texas to clean up the site in the event WCS were to abandon the facility prior to closure (the escrow amount increases to just under $200 million within several years of operations). The amount escrowed was determined by TCEQ and its consultants to be the proper amount, using conservative assumptions, to restore the west Texas land to its natural habitat.

The moral of this story is that the state of Texas and its citizens will never be left “holding the bag” in regards to the WCS site.

While Ms. Polk either fell asleep or purposely chose to ignore the words and numbers that disproved everything she had written, D Magazine has an obligation to its readers to demand better from the writers they hire. To simply choose to ignore a payment of $136.5 million to the state of Texas is a gross distortion of the facts.

Bill Lindquist, CEO
Waste Control Specialists LLC


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  • Chris

    Boom. Roasted.

  • D


  • Old Guy

    What’s the half-life on that waste?

  • Your move, Laray. The gauntlet is down.

  • H. Balzac

    The half-life of uranium 238(uranium in it’s natural state)is about 4,500,000,000 years. The half-life of uranium’s various isotopes vary, but all of them have huge numbers. If one wants to know the specifics, just look up the Periodic Table.

  • AJ

    This site was built over the Ogallala Aquifer formation, as well as two other additional aquifers. This facility presents a real threat of contamination to the water below. If the Ogallala were to be contaminated, we would lose irrigation water for 25% of our nation’s agricultural crops. Do you think $136.5 million is going to cover that? Do you remember what happened with the BP oil spill? That $136.5 million is only while they are operating the site. Once the low level waste is accepted at the site, it is the responsibility of the state of Texas. After they (WCS) have made their money, (probably around 15 years) they leave and give the state $25 million for “correctional action” for the next 100 years. Seriously, we are talking about nuclear waste. If anything were to go wrong, God forbid, Texans will be left paying the bill, not Harold Simmons and his company.

  • PeterK

    we wouldn’t have a nuclear waste problem if we would reprocess the spent fuel rods like the rest of the world. reprocessing reduces the amount that must be sent to storage. But we can IIRC thank Jimmy Carter for killing the reprocessing programs


  • Timothy G.

    Born & raised in Andrews. We do NOT want the waste. WCS will put up less than $200 million. Hanford is estimated to cost mover $13 billion in cleanup/remediation. See http://www.DontWasteTexas.info

  • GMOM

    I’m calling BS – let Harold take the waste and shove…oh sorry, and take it to one of those states way up by Canada that has practically no people. Between Harold and the Barnett Shale gas mess we are letting a handful of men(?) ruin our state. NO – listen to PeterK, Europe is dealing with the problem very well.

  • Sayreville

    Texas: Just ask the citizens of Sayreville, New Jersey if Harold left them “holding the bag”!!

  • Ti02

    Perhaps it would be better stated that Harold left Sayreville holding his “TI02” bag?

  • Sayreville

    “dropped” not “left”

  • RolandJarvis

    Ms. Polk, I have a question that perhaps you or D Mag can answer about WCS: What educational or professional experience or training does “CEO” Bill Lindquist have to run this hazardous waste company? It appears he’s just an accountant who has been a Simmons bean counter for three decades. Has he ever held a job other than for Simmons? What qualifications does he have to run this company that wants a license to dispose of the world’s most dangerous materials in our back yards? Thanks, Roland.