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WCS Signs Contract To Dispose Of Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste

DALLAS, June 8, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- An environmental and public safety problem that has remained unanswered for the state of Texas and its citizens for more than 30 years has been addressed with today's announcement that Waste Control Specialists LLC ("WCS"), a subsidiary of Valhi, Inc. (NYSE: VHI), has signed a contract with one of the state's largest private brokers for the permanent disposal of low-level radioactive waste ("LLRW") at the Texas Compact disposal facility being constructed at WCS' Andrews County site.

Bionomics Inc. aggregates LLRW from many of Texas' leading hospitals, universities and research centers; including The University of Texas at Austin, The University of Texas System, The Texas A&M University System, the Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center and Children's Medical Center of Dallas.  

"Our unique LLRW disposal capabilities provide a long needed solution that is extremely important to the health and well-being of Texas citizens," said WCS President Rod Baltzer.  "These institutions provide procedures and treatments and conduct experiments using radioactive materials that save lives everyday, including the early detection and treatment of many types of cancer and heart disease.  The waste from these activities will now have a permanent disposal home and will no longer take up valuable treatment and laboratory space for temporary on-site storage," Mr. Baltzer said.

"This contract and our unique LLRW disposal capabilities gives Texas small and medium-sized generators waste disposal options," Mr. Baltzer said.  "As a result, these generators now have a permanent solution that assures their Texas LLRW will be disposed of safely and securely in a state-of-the-art landfill," he said.

"With the help of bills recently passed by Amarillo state Senator Kel Seliger and Odessa state Representative Tryon Lewis, the Texas Compact disposal facility will be able to accept LLRW from across the state before the end of the year," Mr. Baltzer said.

WCS is licensed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality ("TCEQ") to dispose of Class A, B and C low-level radioactive waste.  The contract must be approved by the TCEQ before it is effective.  

About the WCS Facility

The WCS facility in western Andrews County is the only commercial facility in the United States licensed to dispose of Class A, B and C LLRW. It is also licensed for the treatment and storage of LLRW – and has safely and successfully served as a temporary storage facility for past U.S. Department of Energy projects.

Situated in an arid and isolated location, the WCS facility sits atop a formation of 500 feet of impermeable red-bed clay which makes it an ideal setting for the storage and disposal of LLRW. The state of Texas has determined the WCS facility does not sit above or adjacent to any underground drinking water formations.

The WCS facility is the site of the disposal facility for the Texas Low Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact, and most recently was the site of the successful storage and disposal of byproduct material from the DOE Fernald, Ohio, cleanup site.

WCS has been processing and storing LLRW at its facility since 1998.

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