Waste Control Specialists (WCS), a subsidiary of Valhi, has awarded a contract to URS to lead the design and construction of a new low-level radioactive waste (LLW) facility in Andrews County, Texas. The three-year, USD 80 million contract includes the addition of a railway loop and facilities for unloading waste from rail cars, as well as the construction of two landfills for different categories of radioactive waste. In May, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) gave the go-ahead for the disposal radioactive by-product material at WCS’s Andrews County facility. The new licence allows WCS to permanently dispose of by-product material, which the company describes as residues left over from uranium mining, including uranium or thorium mill tailings as well as equipment, pipes and other material used to handle and process mill tailings. WCS expects to start disposing of by-product material in early 2009. WCS has also applied to TCEQ for a licence to dispose of LLW and is awaiting a decision by TCEQ. The company plans to dispose of solid or solidified LLW received from generators in Texas and Vermont, as members of the Texas Compact, as well as LLW and mixed LLW from the federal government. WCS plans to start disposing of LLW in 2010.