Big push to protect precious water from toxic waste
PERALTA, NM, June 10, 2009 -- Looking at the possibility of radioactive waste poisoning a vital source of drinking water for millions of Americans, a group called Save the Ogallala Aquifer (SOA) has formed to sound the alarm...
• Poll finds majority of Texans oppose politicians that support nuke dump
PERALTA, NM, June 10, 2009 -- Looking at the possibility of radioactive waste poisoning a vital source of drinking water for millions of Americans, a group called Save the Ogallala Aquifer (SOA) has formed to sound the alarm.
The State of Texas recently granted a permit to Waste Control Specialists to dispose of radioactive waste in their Andrews County, Texas dump. The dump sits over the top of the Ogallala Aquifer, which serves eight states with drinking and irrigation water.
"Most folks didn't know that the Andrews County dump could imperil this important source of water for millions of people," says Adam Greenwood, the head of SOA. "I started this organization as a way to educate citizens, legislators, and regulators, as to the profound effect this could have on our communities if this waste leaks into the aquifer."
Greenwood, who lives just east of the dump in New Mexico, recruited a handful of friends and family last month to begin this effort to ask elected officials in Texas and Washington D.C. to put the brakes on plans to fill the Andrews County dump with radioactive waste until a more thorough study could be completed.
"The mission of Save the Ogallala Aquifer is to equip citizens with the facts, encourage them to contact elected officials, and encourage the Texas legislature and the regulatory agencies to take a closer look as to the ramifications of the impact to this vital sources of water," says Greenwood, and adds, "We are optimistic that when legislators and regulators look at this they will change their policy on where this radioactive garbage should go."
The organization has set up a website and commissioned a poll by national pollster, Wilson Research Strategies. The poll of 800 Texas residents found that:
When voters are told that there is a plan to dump nuclear waste in Texas
66% were unaware that there was a plan to dump nuclear waste in Texas.
63% opposed the idea of dumping nuclear waste in Texas.
72% of Democrats, 60% of Republicans, and 63% of Independents are opposed to dumping nuclear waste.
Opposition increases from 63% to 80% when voters hear about the Aquifer.
56% of Texas voters would vote for the gubernatorial candidate who opposed the waste landfill.
Majorities of all partisan groups are likely to vote for a gubernatorial candidate who opposes the landfill with 69% of Democrats, 54% of Independents, and 52% of Republicans saying so.
63% say they would vote for the legislative candidate who opposed the waste storage.
"It's clear that keeping the Ogallala Aquifer free from radioactive waste is a non partisan issue," says Greenwood. "This is a wake-up call for everyone to look much closer at what we are about to do to this important natural resource."