Opponents question safety of nerve agent shipments

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Opponents of the Army's shipments of nerve agent waste from Indiana to Texas say the Army's own sampling shows high levels of the agent in the waste.

A federal judge in Indianapolis opened a hearing today on a request by the Sierra Club and other opponents of the shipments to bar the Army from trucking the liquid waste hydrolysate through eight states, including Tennessee, to Port Arthur, Texas.

Craig Williams is director of the Kentucky-based Chemical Weapons Working Group that's also fighting the Army. He says senior managers overseeing the destruction of the deadly V-X nerve agent at the Newport Chemical Depot in western Indiana have given depositions saying samples from tankers show concentrations of V-X and a toxic byproduct exceed the Army's maximum allowable levels for shipments.

An Army spokesman maintains the shipments are safe and proceeded without incident before the Army voluntarily stopped them last month.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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