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    The Radiation Control Program (RCP) is within the
    Division for Regulatory Services
    P. O. Box 149347
    Austin, TX 78714-9347
    512-834-6770


    Link to Texas.gov
    texasgovbox

    Link to Texas.gov

    Government at Your Fingertips
     

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    External links to other sites are intended to be informational and do not have the endorsement of the Texas Department of State Health Services. These sites may not be accessible to people with disabilities.


Chronological History

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RADIATION CONTROL PROGRAM


The following are highlights that establish the Texas Department of State Health Services, Radiation Control, as a leader for other radiation control programs throughout the United States – and beyond.

1947 1956 1959 1961 1963 1965
1968 1971 1974 1975 1977 1981
1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987
1989 1990 1992 1993 1994 1996
1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002


1947 The Texas Department of Health became involved in radiological health activities.
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1956 The State Board of Health adopted Regulations on Radiation Exposure.
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1959 The Texas Legislature created a Radiation Study Committee to review all aspects of Texas' role in nuclear energy. This led to the drafting of the Texas Radiation Control Act.
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1961 The Texas Radiation Control Act was adopted in April 1961, establishing the Texas Radiation Advisory Board and designating the Texas Department of Health as theRadiation Control Agency.
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1963 On January 10, 1963, the agreement with the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission was signed and became effective March 1, 1963, making Texas the fifth Agreement State. In accordance with the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, the state assumed all licensing and regulatory authority in the state formerly administered by the Atomic Energy Commission (now the Nuclear Regulatory Commission), with the exception of nuclear reactors, certain nuclear materials, and those radioactive materials used by other federal organizations.
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1965 Texas was the first state to host a meeting of the Agreement States.
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1968 In situ uranium recovery was developed and first licensed in Texas. Union Carbide received the first license for in situ uranium recovery on August 15, 1968, for its Palangana Dome project in Duval County. This was also the first uranium license issued by a state that had not been transferred from the AEC.

Texas issued the first license in the United States for the use of neutrons from californium-252 for the treatment of uterine cancer. The authorization was issued to the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Hospital and Tumor Institute in Houston in August 1968.

New registration procedures were implemented using application forms and certificates. The previous system utilized a simple mail-in card.

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1971 The Texas Radiation Control Act was amended to include regulation of sources of nonionizing radiation such as laser and microwave devices.
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1974 Texas adopted laser rules before any other state or the federal government. Texas Regulations for the Control of Laser Radiation Hazards became effective on September 8, 1974.
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1975 Texas Regulations for the Control of Infrasonic, Sonic and Ultrasonic Radiation became effective on August 16, 1975.
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1977 Texas Regulations for the Control of Radio-Frequency Electromagnetic Radiation became effective on September 27, 1977.

Texas was the first state to remove the exemption for limited quantity burial of radioactive waste on private property. The amendment was adopted in 1977.

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1981 Senate Bills 480 and 735 designated the Radiation Control branch of the Division of Occupational Health and Radiation Control as the Bureau of Radiation Control. Three activities were upgraded to division status in the new Bureau and an Office of Information, Education and Administration was created. The new legislation provided 81 new positions in addition to the 23 already allotted by the normal biennial legislative appropriations bill. These new positions brought the Bureau's total staff to 140 as of September 1, 1981. The increase in personnel included new inspector positions around the state, increasing the number of facilities that could be inspected each year.

The legislation also provided for Texas to amend its agreement to retain regulatory authority over uranium recovery as required by the Uranium Mill Tailings Act of 1978.

Also in 1981, Senate Bill 1177 established the Texas Low- Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Authority to provide the mechanism to dispose of Texas-generated low-level radioactive waste.

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1982 Texas was instrumental in developing and one of the first states to adopt well logging rules. Regulations in TRCR Part 36, "Radiation Safety Requirements for Wireline Service Operations and Subsurface Tracer Studies" were adopted in June 1982.

Texas was the first state to adopt regulations specific to radioactive waste storage and processing facilities.

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1983 Hearing and enforcement procedures were established in TRCR Part 13 in July 1983.
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1984 Fee rules in TRCR Part 12 were adopted in April 1984.
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1985 On August 23-24, 1985, the BRC sponsored a Texas Conference on the Regulation of Radiation. Held in Austin, the meeting drew approximately 300 licensees and registrants.
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1986 Texas became the first state to initiate a verified radiation testing program for certification of industrial radiographers. New regulations in TRCR Part 31 were adopted in October 1986 and provide for the certification of industrial radiographers through an examination and other training requirements. Beginning in January 1988, anyone working as an industrial radiographer in Texas must have successfully completed the agency-administered examination.
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1987 Texas was the first state to adopt regulations to allow concentrations of certain short-lived isotopes to be disposed of in sanitary landfills. The regulations became effective on May 8, 1987.
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1989 TRCR Part 32 regulations for healing arts and veterinary x-ray machines were updated to make these rules more applicable to state-of-the-art x-ray equipment and practices.
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1990 The Department of Energy (DOE) and the state of Texas entered into an agreement in principle on July 16, 1990, for the state to oversee DOE efforts in environmental restoration, waste management and emergency planning for Pantex Plant, the nuclear weapons production facility outside of Amarillo.
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1992 The Bureau of Radiation Control presented proposed regulations to the Board of Health for licensing of naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM). The proposed regulations were the result of a cumulative effort with the Texas Water Commission, the Texas Railroad Commission and the Ad Hoc Committee on NORM -- consisting of members of radiation control programs of several oil producing states.
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1993 As a result of the transfer of regulatory authority over the disposal of radioactive substances, including NORM disposal, to the Texas Water Commission in March 1992, the proposed rules were amended to reflect that change and were reproposed in early 1993.
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1994 A program for certification of mammography facilities was implemented as a result of legislative changes. Rules were adopted requiring mammography facilities to be certified by the state, to have trained personnel and dedicated equipment and to meet strict quality control and equipment standards.

Also in 1994, the surface remediation of an inactive mill tailings site in Falls City was completed under a cooperative agreement between the Texas Department of Health and the U.S. Department of Energy. Approximately three million cubic yards of tailings were consolidated and covered, and contaminated soils were removed from surrounding areas.

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1995 The BRC hosted the 27th Annual Conference on Radiation Control in San Antonio on May 6-9, 1995; The Texas Regulations for Control of Radiation was made available via the Texas Department of Health's Healthy Texans 2000 Bulletin Board System; and under contract with the Conference of Radiation Control Program Directiors, the BRC began providing industrial radiography exams to a total of six states.
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1996 A BRC Internet site was developed and put "on-line" under the Texas Department of Health's website. Information is available through this electronic media covering the BRC's organization, news items, the Texas Radiation Advisory Board, regulations, job listings, radiography certification, general information on radiation, other radiation related sites, and various items relating to the BRC and radiation topics.

In June 1996 the BRC cosponsored a Food Irradiation Conference with the Bureau of Food & Drug Safety and Texas A&M University.

In October 1996 the BRC achieved a perfect score for an emergency response exercise at the South Texas Project Electric Generating Station (STP), one of two nuclear power plants in Texas. There are 101 nuclear power plants in the continental United States and STP is the only plant to have received perfect scores on emergency response exercises.

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1997

The legislature transferred the Uranium recovery regulatory program back to the BRC. Within six months of this transfer, personnel were hired, inspection forms were drafted and all of the uranium facilities were inspected.

In October 1997 the BRC issued its first Class III waste processing license to a facility in Andrews County.

The site of the surface impoundment containing uranium tailings remediated under UMTRA Title I at Falls City was deeded to the federal government in May 1997.

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1998 BRC completed totally revised laser rules through a participatory process to address current technologies and hazards.

The seventh radiation regulatory conference provided approximately 440 attendees from the regulated community the opportunity to network and receive updated information on the use of radiation in science, health care, and industry. The two-day conference, held August 17 and 18 in Austin, focused on changes to regulating radiation in Texas as a result of state legislative actions, federal mandates, and other radiation issues demanding regulatory attention. The meeting was held in conjunction with the South Texas Chapter of the Health Physics Society's annual vendors exhibit. In addition to the information presented in the concurrent topic sessions, regulatory staff were available to discuss individuals' specific issues and concerns at the displays that were developed on a variety of radiation topics. The BRC has coordinated and participated in similar conferences held in 1985, 1988, 1990, 1992, 1994 and 1996.

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1999 In response to feedback from the previous regulatory conference, BRC initiated the presentation of topical workshops that focused on single issues instead of a regulatory conference of broad scope. Three such workshops were presented in 1999, on the topics of NORM, Mammography and Industrial Radiography.

TDH was approved by the U.S. Food & Drug administration as an accreditation body for mammography facilities. Texas is the fourth state to be approved. This gave mammography facilities in Texas the option of being accredited by TDH or the American College of Radiology.

Legislation was passed that allowed TDH to sell land that had been remediated under the DOE UMTRA agreement. The General Land Office will facilitate the sale of that property.

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2000 BRC revised and simplified its dental regulatory program to include all dental rules in one section with easily understood rule explanations along side the rule language. Dental inspection intervals changed to eight years with self-inspection every four years.
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2001 On May 9, 2001, the first Waste Isolation Pilot Project (WIPP) shipment of waste traveled through Texas to the WIPP site in New Mexico along the IH-20 corridor.

Legislation passed to allow assessment of surcharges to cover the costs that arise when a licensee cannot pay for the safe handling or disposal of radioactive material. Legislation also passed to allow the surcharges and any administrative penalties to be placed in the Radiation Perpetual Care Fund.

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2002

In response to numerous advertisements promoting self-referral for CT (computed tomography) screening -- which is a type of X-ray examination -- the Texas Radiation Advisory Board in conjunction with the Bureau of Radiation Control cautioned the public about the practice of Whole Body CT Screening Examinations. The advisory informed the public that rules require that CT studies be ordered by a licensed physician and that studies should be based on an individual's medical history. Some of the problems with CT Screening cited in the advisory included the lack of any specific scientific evidence that CT screening improves medical care or prolongs life and the concern over the relatively high amount of radiation received by patients undergoing the CT screening exams.


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Division for Regulatory Services - P. O. Box 149347 - Austin, Texas 78714-9347 - (512) 834-6770

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Last updated July 25, 2010