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