Morning Briefing - September 13, 2017
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September 13, 2017

Texas Radioactive Materials Chief Seeks to Allay Concerns About WCS

By ExchangeMonitor

It should not be long before the financially troubled Waste Control Specialists announces a new potential buyer, Charles Maguire, the director of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s Radioactive Materials Division, told industry representatives recently.

“I know some of you have expressed concerns … about WCS’s viability,” Maguire said on Sept. 6 at the ExchangeMonitor’s RadWaste Summit in Summerlin, Nev. He noted, though, that the “the gates are open and they are receiving waste” at the Dallas-based company’s waste storage complex in Andrews County, Texas.

Waste Control Specialists’ 14,900-acre property in Andrews County, Texas, encompasses a number of facilities for storage of various waste types, including just one of four U.S. disposal sites for low-level radioactive waste. It is also temporarily home to waste that originated at the Energy Department’s Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.

The company has endured years of financial losses, and owner Valhi Inc. in 2015 agreed to sell WCS for $367 million to Salt Lake City-based nuclear services provider EnergySolutions. The U.S. Justice Department sued to stop the deal on antitrust grounds, and a federal judge in June ruled in favor of the federal government.

There continue to be industry rumors about the degree of progress that Valhi is making in its effort to divest Waste Control Specialists. In its latest 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Valhi said it is “actively pursuing third parties” for a deal.

“They are entertaining potential buyers. We probably should know very soon if they have one,” Maguire said. The state agency is eager to see “the next phase in WCS’s life,” he added.

Efforts to secure comments from WCS were not immediately successful Tuesday.

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