A Texas commission has approved a plan to allow 36 states to dump low-level radioactive waste in West Texas.
The Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Commission voted 5-2 to back the plan to greatly expand the number of states allowed to dump at an Andrews County dump owned by Dallas-based Waste Control Specialists. The site currently only accepts waste from Texas, Vermont and the federal government.
The commission earlier Tuesday guaranteed Vermont 20 percent capacity in the dump.
Environmental groups have criticized the planned expansion of the dump and the plan drew more than 5,000 public comments.
The vote stokes the debate over where and how to dispose of nuclear waste. President Barack Obama vowed to decrease U.S. dependence on foreign oil, partly by building more nuclear power plants.