Up in arms

Published: Sunday 15 December 2002

A coalition of a dozen environmental and citizens groups in the us has filed a lawsuit trying to halt a new chemical weapons incinerator scheduled to be fired up at the Anniston Army Depot, in Alabama, next year.

The suit demanded that the us army undertake additional environmental studies before beginning to burn about 2,254 tonnes of chemical weapons, including shells of nerve gas and mustard gas, at the Anniston Army Depot. Other less dangerous alternatives should be used to destroy the weapons, the suit states.

Critics of the incinerator say it is located too close to a populated area. Attempts to mollify Anniston's 24,000 residents with promises of gas masks and tape to seal their homes backfired when many townspeople saw the offers as proof that army managers know the incinerator will not be safe.

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