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Newsmonger: DiGiovanni ethics breakdown, War on Planned Parenthood hurt family planning in Texas, Radioactive waste en route from Vermont to Texas

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Or, if we know our 1604, that could mean getting bogged down in traffic like everybody else.

So far, WCS reports they have had no incidents. But the odds will narrow some should WCS's "one-stop-shop" for industry's "hazardous, toxic and radioactive waste needs," as company CEO Bill Lindquist describes the outfit, expands as they are reportedly wont to do. "Lindquist said that they might be going to the Legislature to ask for increased limits," said Karen Hadden of the advocacy outfit SEED Coalition, who participated in a recent phone conference hosted by the TLLRWDCC. "They seem to think that they need more imported reactor waste." Certainly one of the "environmental extremists" referred to a WCS video, Hadden added: "It's incredibly agonizing to see a company that would dump radioactive waste on our state call anyone who wants a public hearing an extremist. It demonstrates the kind of company we're dealing with here."

Hadden and others are working to develop dedicated radioactive waste routes established in Texas.

Oil & gas boom has Railroad Commission scrambling

More than 9,000 new oil and gas wells have been drilled across Texas so far this year. The breakneck pace of the state's burgeoning energy sector is keeping regulators at the Railroad Commission of Texas busy. Too busy, in fact, to inspect most of those wells to ensure they were drilled safely and securely, according to a new report from the environmental advocacy group Earthworks. "Several state oil and gas agencies suggest that wells be inspected at least once during the drilling stage, and that active wells be inspected at least once per year," according to the report "Breaking All the Rules: The Crisis in Oil and Gas Regulatory Enforcement."

"Texas is nowhere near that bar."

Released last week, the study of oversight in the oil and gas sector examines policies in Texas and five other states over 10 years. The report found that the number of Texas Railroad Commission inspectors is not keeping pace with the number of oil and gas wells being developed amid a hydraulic fracturing boom across South and North Texas.

Between 1993 and 2011, the number of wells producing oil and gas across Texas increased by 24,000. There were 20 fewer inspectors on the job last year than in 1993. The current 97 full-time inspectors are overwhelmed by their task of monitoring more than 270,000 active wells, according to the report. Each inspector is responsible for more than 2,700 wells — up from 2,000 in 1993. Even when the Railroad Commission does report a violation, it is rarely acted upon, according to the study. So far this year, only 2 percent of violations were referred to the Railroad Commission's enforcement staff. "Penalties are so weak that it is cheaper for violators to pay the penalty than comply with the law," the report says. The average penalty this year was about $1,000.

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