Waste Program Successes
Protection of Natural Resources
The TCEQ, the Texas General Land Office, and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department act on behalf of the public as trustees for natural resources. The TCEQ through its trustee role evaluates injury to natural resources in Texas as a result of discharges of oil or releases of hazardous substances and seeks restoration of the injured resources when appropriate.
Since program inception, the NRTP program has completed 44 natural resource damage assessment settlements and has initiated or completed construction on 56 separate restoration projects. This has resulted in natural resource restoration projects valued at more than $100 million.
One example would be the construction of approximately 93 acres of tidal marsh in Swan Lake in Galveston Bay as restoration for damages to the Swan Lake ecosystem caused by the Tex-Tin Superfund site. The marsh was constructed using clean dredge material and provides increased nursery, foraging, and cover habitat for critical species that inhabit the area.
For more information see the Natural Resource Trustee Program page.
First large component disposal at Texas radioactive waste site
In August of 2014, Waste Control Specialists, the operator of Texas’ low-level radioactive waste disposal site located in Andrews County, completed the first large component disposal operation for the site. Four steam generator lower assemblies (SGLAs) removed from the Point Beach Nuclear Plant near Two Rivers, Wisconsin, were transported approximately 2,200 miles via road, rail, and barge for safe disposal in Texas.
Disposal of the SGLAs, which weigh approximately 200 tons (400,000 pounds) each, required extensive planning and engineering design, all of which was reviewed and approved by the TCEQ. The SGLAs were transported to the foot of the disposal cell using specialized equipment, placed on stabilizing steel plates, and encased in approximately 1,800 cubic yards of concrete, which is rated with a compressive strength of 2,000 pounds per square inch. All disposal operations were conducted under the observation of the two resident inspectors deployed by the TCEQ.