Environmental Protection


From the outset, WCS has been committed to the safe and secure handling of the state’s and nation’s low-level radioactive waste (LLRW). Disposal operations at WCS were never conceived, designed nor expected to be a short-term solution for LLRW. Instead, WCS has always aimed to provide a safe, secure, long-term solution for waste disposal while fully protecting the environment. WCS’ greatest ally in this effort is the geology and geography at the disposal site.

The WCS site in Andrews County, Texas was selected due to its location atop a ridge of 600-ft. thick red-bed clay in a relatively remote, semi-arid, sparsely inhabited area of far west Texas, with the nearest residence approximately 3.5 miles to the west in New Mexico and annual rainfall of less than 16 inches. Significant population growth in the immediate vicinity of the WCS site is unlikely because of the nature of land ownership and the lack of any surface water and readily potable groundwater.

The Facts on WCS’ Impact on the Environment:

  • During the construction and licensing process over 500 wells and core samples were reviewed by the state; the state has established that at no point does this site affect the Ogallala Aquifer.
  • The state has determined the aquifer to be six miles north of the site. Water would have to travel uphill to get to the site.
  • The facility is not above or adjacent to any underground drinking water supply.
  • Climate change will not cause groundwater to enter the waste disposal units.
  • The Texas Compact Disposal Facility and Federal Waste Facility feature the most environmentally protective designs in the industry with below-grade disposal in concrete-lined cells that are constructed inside a natural 600-foot formation of almost impermeable Dockum red-bed clay.
  • No significant erosion has taken place at the site for the past 60,000 years and there is no reason to expect significant erosion at the site during the next 60,000 years.
  • The waste is placed in steel-reinforced concrete containers which sit atop seven feet of a state-of-the-art comprehensive liner system.

The Facts on WCS’ Impact on Local Drinking Water

As a result of this data, the Texas Water Development Board re-mapped the Ogallala Aquifer in late 2006 to definitively show that the aquifer’s boundary does not extend to WCS’ property and to provide a more accurate depiction of the proper location of the aquifer.

The result? Andrews County provides an environmentally safe and secure site for long-term disposal of low-level radioactive waste. In the below video, hydrologist Dr. Robert Holt, discusses how and why this is true.



Waste Control Specialists and the State of Texas spent years sampling, testing and investigating the unique geological characteristics of Andrews County.


United States Congressman Conaway discusses the importance of Waste Control Specialists’ disposal operations from a national perspective.


Waste Control Specialists ofrece una solución para Texas.