Issue Date: December 1, 2014
Army Sued Over Chemical In River
An environmental group is suing the Army and defense contractor BAE Systems over the release of a military explosive into the Holston River near Kingsport, Tenn. The lawsuit concerns the daily discharge of wastewater containing RDX, a nitramine with a moniker shortened from Research Department Explosive, into the river from the Holston Army Ammunition Plant. RDX is one of the most widely used military explosives, and EPA lists it as a possible human carcinogen. Under a water pollution permit from the Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation, the ammunition plant is allowed to release 12.2 lb of RDX into the river daily. But the Tennessee Clean Water Network claims the plant violated those limits with daily discharges that averaged 68.2 lb of RDX in 2012 and 2013. The group says RDX has been found in the river more than 100 miles downstream from the plant. In the lawsuit, the group asks a federal court to stop the Army and BAE Systems from releasing any RDX into the river and fine them for past violations.
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