Issue Date: May 14, 2007
Army is Sued To Halt Shipment Of Nerve Agent Waste
Residents of Indiana and Texas have filed a federal lawsuit against the Army to stop shipments to a hazardous waste incinerator in Port Arthur, Texas, of the wastewater produced from the neutralization of VX nerve agent at the Army's Newport, Ind., facility, the Chemical Weapons Working Group announced. Opponents of the transport claim the wastewater is unsafe and should be treated on-site, but the Army counters that transport and shipment of the waste pose no environmental or health problems. The suit alleges that the shipments violate the imminent hazard and other provisions of the Resource Conservation & Recovery Act as well as environmental justice provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act. In addition, the suit alleges that the shipments violate Indiana hazardous waste laws and federal prohibitions against interstate transport and disposal of such materials if they have not been "detoxified or made harmless" to humans and the environment. As of May 8, 41 trucks carrying the wastewater have made the trip from Newport to Port Arthur. More than 68,500 gal of hydrolysate have been incinerated, leading the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to credit the U.S. with destroying almost 110,000 lb of the nearly 2.5 million lb of Newport's VX nerve agent stockpile, Army spokesman Greg Mahall says.
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