AUSTIN -- The Texas Senate has approved a bill that would allow a West Texas nuclear waste facility to import materials with greater radioactivity while encouraging the export of lower-level materials out of the state.
Amarillo Republican Sen. Kel Seliger put forward the measure on Tuesday, which he called an "omnibus low-level radioactive waste bill."
The Senate removed a provision that only Texans living in counties adjacent to Andrews County could contest the facility's permits. The closest inhabited area is in New Mexico.
Seliger said the bill keeps the maximum volume and radioactivity allowed at the site the same and only changes what materials are stored there and where they come from.
The site was originally intended to only accept limited materials, but the Legislature expanded that. Environmentalists opposed the bill.