Groups sue to block burn of WWII mustard agent

Attorneys for the Government Accountability Project have filed a lawsuit to stop a plan by Oregon agencies to incinerate the Umatilla Chemical Depot's cache of World War II mustard agent.

The suit was filed in the Multonomah County, Ore., state circuit court by the watchdog group's attorneys on behalf of Hermiston-based GASP, the Oregon Wildlife Federation, Sierra Club and six Umatilla County and Morrow County residents. It attempts to stop the incineration by seeking a judge's review of recent decisions made by the Oregon Environmental Quality Commission and Department of Environmental Quality to move forward with plans for incinerating mustard agent and secondary waste.

The Government Accountability Project is concerned that some of the mustard agent is contaminated with mercury and other hazardous wastes. It believes the mercury would not be fully captured by the filter systems currently in place or planned for the Umatilla Chemical Agent Disposal Facility.

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