ILNews

Judge hears evidence in nerve gas suit

Michael W. Hoskins
January 1, 2007
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Attorneys are presenting their cases in the U.S. District Court's Southern District in Indianapolis today on whether the Army and Department of Defense are violating federal environmental laws in shipping the potentially deadly VX nerve gas from Indiana to Texas.

Chief Judge Larry McKinney began the evidentiary hearing at 1:30 p.m. and has allocated up to three days for the proceeding. Four environmental and activist groups and five citizens, including two Hoosiers, filed a suit in May against the government to permanently halt shipments of the VX nerve gas for destruction. The suit claims the 900-mile truck shipments from Newport through eight states to Port Arthur, Texas, poses a danger to public health and the environment, and violates state and federal laws.

The Sierra Club and Chemical Weapons Working Group were poised to ask for a temporary restraining order to stop the shipments but decided first to ask for a voluntary stand-down from the Army. Both sides reached an agreement in June to temporarily suspend the shipments while Judge McKinney considers the evidence.
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