VX waste shipments resume after judge's ruling

Marilyn Tennissen Aug. 9, 2007, 4:21am

Veolia facility in Port Arthur

Shipments of VX nerve gas wastewater arrived at the Veolia plant in Port Arthur on Aug. 8 with the approval of a federal judge.

Environmental activist groups, including Hilton Kelley's Community In-power and Development Association from Port Arthur, are suing the U.S. Army and Veolia to prevent the residue from coming to Southeast Texas for incineration.

Last week a federal judge in Indiana, where the VX waste shipments originate, ruled that the Army could continue the shipments until he makes a final ruling.

A judge refused an injunction filed by activists to stop the shipments temporarily after throwing out all testimony from activists' expert witnesses.

The U.S. Army voluntarily stopped the shipments in June when environmental activists began raising questions about the safety of the project. Veolia says shipping and destroying the nerve agent residue meets all safety standards.

The Army says some small amounts of the VX nerve agent are present in the waste water, but at 9 parts per billion it is well below the 20 ppb requirement.

Environmental groups plan to appeal.

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