Colored Rock Map of Texas at I-20 in Pecos, Click for Travel Guide

Pecos Enterprise


Pecos Country History
Archive 62
Archive 74
Archive 87
1987 Tornado Photos
Rodeo Photos 88
Archive 95
Archive 96
Archive 97
News Photos 1997
Rodeo Photos 97
Archive 98
News Photos 1998
Rodeo Photos 98
Parade Photos 98
Archive 99
Photos 99

Area Newspapers


Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Monday, December 6, 1999

Envirocare's N-waste plan questioned

Staff Writer
PECOS, Dec. 6. 1999 - Envirocare of Texas will have their attorneys look at the statutes and regulations, and then meet with the Texas Department of Health in the next couple of weeks regarding their application to them for a low-level waste facility the company wants to create in Ward County.

"After our attorneys look over everything we'll meet with the Texas Department of Health within the next couple of weeks," said Rick Jacobi, vice president of operations and general counsel of Envirocare, after the TDH turned down parts of their original submission.

"At this time, they just want additional information," said Jacobi. "I wouldn't call it a rejection."

Envirocare's application for a low-level waste storage facility, which would be built eight miles northeast of Barstow in Ward County, was challenged by the Texas Department of Health.

TDH questioned the type of storage facility the company wanted to locate in Ward County. But they did not reject the facility itself, saying only it would have to submit a new application for review by the TDH's Bureau of Radiation Control.

Envirocare is seeking to store low-level radioactive waste in an above-ground concrete buildings. Jacobi said the company has tested the site and found no underground aquifer, and said water from the location does not drain into the Pecos River.

Envirocare wants to store waste Texas originally planned to bury underground in Hudspeth County, in a state-run facility. That site, which would also have housed waste from Maine and Vermont, was rejected by the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commissioner and Gov. George W. Bush last year.

The difference between the underground site and Envirocare's above-ground storage proposal is at the center of the TDH's decision to turn down the initial application.

"That's good news for us, because now we can all get on the same page," said Ward County Precinct 1 Commissioner Julian Florez, whose precinct includes the proposed waste dump site. "There were no state rules for what they could do. They were just going to put that stuff in there and if those concrete bunkers didn't hold up, we'd be up a creek."

"I don't think that the rejection is the issue here," said Reeves County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo. "The issue is that Envirocare has been misleading the public."

Galindo added that not only have they been misleading the public, but they also tried to mislead a government agency, the Texas Department of Health.

Envirocare submitted their application for a radioactive material license to receive from other persons and store radioactive waste to TDH on Nov. 23, 1999. In their review letter, TDH, noted that Envirocare is requesting authorization for a facility that purportedly will be in existence for 500 years and store waste for that length of time.

But TDH said The Bureau of Radiation Control does not think that it has the authority to issue a license based on an application with such proposed time span. The Bureau's position has both a regulatory and a technical basis.

"Title 25 of the Texas Administrative Code, Section 289.254(b)(12) defines a radioactive waste storage facility as a facility where radioactive waste is "stored while awaiting shipment to a licensed radioactive waste processing or disposal facility." The intent of a radioactive waste storage facility is not for extended or protracted storage, but for storage only so long as necessary to either (1) make a shipment to a disposal facility, or (2) await the availability of a disposal facility. The intent was not to accumulate and store for extended periods of time, but only until disposal options could be exercised," according to the Texas Department of Health.

"The nature and intent of the application is further confounded by statements made in a press release dated Nov. 23, from Envirocare. Specific items of concern in the press release are found in paragraphs nine and 12.

"In paragraph nine the statement is made that "Envirocare of Texas applied to build the facility to allow Texas to meet its interstate requirements to manage low-level radioactive waste generated in the States of Texas, Maine and Vermont." That statement is misleading, at best, and raises the question of the true intent of the facility described in the application submitted to the Bureau. The obligation for Texas as the host state of the compact is to provide for the disposal of the low-level radioactive waste, not storage. Thus, the implication would be that the facility being applied for is in fact a disposal facility. If that is the case, our agency is not the appropriate agency to submit an application to for that purpose," according to the Texas Department of Health.

"In that paragraph the key word is `THE facility,'" said Galindo. "That statement is very misleading."

The TDH letter goes on to say, "In paragraph 12, (of the application), the statement is made, "This storage method, sometimes referred to as assured isolation…" This statement either implies or reveals a purpose of the facility other than as presented in the application. As we have discussed on previous occasions, the agency does not have the authority or the rules in place to license an assured isolation facility. Furthermore, it seems clear from the last legislative session that the state is not ready to embrace the concept of assured isolation at this time.

The response from TDH further stated that, "given the questions as to the true nature of the facility presented in the Nov. 23, application, we request that you submit replacement pages, if you wish to pursue a Class III radioactive waste storage license, which conform to the intent of a Class III Waste Storage Operation (i.e., one in which a radioactive waste storage facility is a place where radioactive waste is stored while awaiting shipment to a licensed radioactive waste processing or disposal facility).

"It seems clear that at the last legislative session, the State of Texas, was not ready to accept the concept of an assured isolation facility," said Galindo. "It's temporary storage as defined by the Nuclear Regulation Commission."

"We feel confident that when they see what we're proposing and see that it's within the regulations, they'll understand and we can proceed from there," said Jacobi.

"The Bureau of Radiation Control eventually reveals the true purpose and intent of this facility," said Galindo.

Envirocare has talked with Ward County officials and city officials in Monahans about the planned site. Jacobi has also met with Barstow officials once, and was in Pecos for the first time last week to present the company's proposal to the Town of Pecos City.

The city council, along with Galindo and the Reeves County Commissioners are among the groups that have signed a resolution opposing the facility. "And again, it's closer to Pecos than it is to Monahans," said Galindo. The site would be located 32 miles west of Monahans and 14 miles northeast of Pecos.

Commisioners told RCDC job is on schedule

Staff Writer
PECOS, Dec. 6. 1999 - Construction is on schedule at the Reeves County Detention Center and everything is proceeding in a timely manner, according to Mark Schumaker, with Banes General Contractors.

Schumaker was on hand for the special meeting of the Reeves County Commissioners Court, where the court approved payment number eight to Banes General Contractors, who have been working on the 1,000-bed expansion at the facility.

"We took bids on remaining items and everything is on schedule," said Schumaker. "I'm confident that we'll be able to finish on time."

County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo told the court that the contractors have been assigning a building to one supervisor and that he is in charge of that particular building from the ground up. "They're holding that supervisor liable for the building," said Galindo. "That really helps in terms of coordination."

Precinct 3 Commissioner Herman Tarin toured the facility recently and told the court that the facility is going up really quickly. "There's a lot of activity going on out there, a lot of work being done," said Tarin, who visited the site with architect Lorraine Dailey.

"Everything looks good and it seems to be coming along smoothly," he said.

Schumaker stated that the facility should be completed by Sept. 1, 2000, and would then be ready to take in inmates.

"There's a lot going on out there, everybody is working really hard," he said.

In other business, the commissioners court approved water line easements for Madera Valley Water Corporation.

"We want to go ahead and advertise for bids on second part of the project," said Tarin.

He said they wanted to let County Road and Bridges Supervisor Russ Salcido know that Madera Valley Water has posted the appropriate signs and easements on the designated county roads.

"This is one of the requirements to move along with the project," said Tarin.

The designated signs were posted on county roads 112, 334, 336, 301 and 302.

"They have put signs on each of these roads designating that they are crossings," said Galindo.

A citizen speaking on behalf of her son, Hector Gutierrez, asked commissioners court if they would be recipients of water from the Madera Valley Water Corporation and if their property was in Reeves or Ward County.

Galindo told her that the property was in Ward County and she could fill out an application to be a recipient of Madera Valley Water.

"Right now we're putting everyone on hold until we finish this project," said Tarin. "But after this, we'll be getting new customers and we have from 100-150 applications," he said.

Galindo assured her that an application would be sent out to her and she would be put on the list.

Chamber still accepting Christmas parade entries

PECOS, Dec. 6. 1999 - The Pecos Chamber of Commerce will be accepting entries in the annual Christmas Parade right up until the line-up, at 5 p.m. this Friday.

Right now, the parade has about a dozen floats entered, along with two color guards and the bands from both Crockett and Zavala Middle Schools and the Pecos High School band.

The parade will begin at 6 p.m. Friday, with line-ups starting an hour earlier in the Pecos High School band hall parking lot on South Park Street. The parade will travel from there up South Eddy Street to Third Street, and then east to Oak Street.

The parade will then go back north one block to the Reeves County Courthouse, where it will conclude.

After the parade is over the annual lighting of the Reeves County Courthouse Christmas tree will take place. The lighting ceremony is set for about 7 p.m. Friday night, and the 100 block of East Fourth Street will be closed off while the ceremony takes place.

Santa to visit Saragosa Hall following parade

Santa Claus will be giving out candy to the children in the community at 8 p.m., Friday, following the Annual Christmas Parade.

Santa will be at the Saragosa Hall, Sixth and Peach Streets and everyone is invited to come and bring their children.

The event is sponsored by the Pecos Evening Optimist Club.

Week 13's winner for contest named

PECOS, Dec. 6. 1999 - Gary Rarick, 2105 Missouri St., won a tiebreaker for first place in Week 12 of the Pecos Enterprise' Power Points contest. He scored 115 points and beat out Alice Laron, who also scored 115 out of 136 points.

Anita Delbert of El Campo won the $1,000 prize for the overall state contest, getting 135 out of 136 points. Week 13's winners will be announced later this week, and the entry form for Week 14 is on Page 4 of today's Enterprise and will be available a sponsoring businesses until Friday.


AUSTIN (AP) - No tickets correctly matched all six numbers drawn Saturday night for the twice-weekly Lotto Texas game, state lottery officials said. The ticket would have been worth an estimated $17 million. The numbers drawn Saturday night from a field of 50 were: 15-20-24-27-29-37. Wednesday night's drawing will be worth an estimated $23 million.


AUSTIN (AP) - Results of the Texas Million drawing Friday night: Winning numbers drawn: 31-19-13-68. Number matching four of four in Group One: 0. Number matching four of four in Group Two: 0. Prize: $25,000. Number matching four of four in Group Three: 1. Prize: $10,000. Number matching three of four in any group: 388. Prize: $300.


AUSTIN (AP) - Results of the Cash 5 drawing Friday night: Winning numbers drawn: 23-11-34-09-31. Number matching five of five: 8. Prize per winner: $10,978. Winning ticket(s) sold in: Amarillo, Austin, Canyon Lake, Houston, Raymondville, Rusk, San Antonio. Matching four of five: 272. Prize: $484.


AUSTIN (AP) - The winning Pick 3 numbers drawn Friday by the Texas Lottery, in order: 7-2-6 (seven, two, six)


AUSTIN (AP) - The winning Pick 3 numbers drawn Saturday by the Texas Lottery, in order: 1-9-2 (one, nine, two)


High Sunday 63. Low this morning 22. Forecast for tonight: Partly cloudy. Low around 30. Southwest wind 5-10 mph. Tuesday: Partly cloudy. High in the lower 70s. West wind 10-20 mph. Tuesday night: Partly cloudy. Low 30-35.

Search Entire Site:

Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.

324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321

Associated Press text, photo, graphic, audio and/or video material shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium.

Copyright 1999 by Pecos Enterprise