2003 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 4 Aug 2003 15:11:02 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Alabama Town Angry Over Army's Disposal of Weapons
Alabama Town Angry Over Army's Disposal of Weapons
By Verna Gates
Sun August 3, 2003 12:55 PM ET

ANNISTON, Ala. (Reuters) - A decision by the U.S. Army to begin
incinerating chemical weapons at a plant in Anniston, Alabama, has
provoked sharp criticism from frightened residents and vows by
environmentalists to block the effort.

The U.S. Army, complying with an international treaty, is expected to
begin burning the first of its M-55 rockets containing the deadly nerve
agent sarin on Wednesday at its $1 billion chemical weapons disposal
facility in Anniston, which has a population of about 110,000.

Thousands of residents in what is called the pink zone, the area
designated as the most at risk in the event of a chemical release, have
been offered protective hoods, air filters and shelter kits in
preparation for the incineration process.

Opponents warn that the plan poses a clear danger because the
incinerator is located in the middle of Anniston and less than 100 miles
from Atlanta and Birmingham, the two most heavily populated cities in
the area.

"We've got an incinerator sitting in the middle of a bunch of black
people and poor whites. We have been the whipping boy for a long time,"
said Rev. Nimrod Reynolds, pastor of 17th Street Missionary Baptist

"Most of them are scared to death," Nimrod said of the 600 members of
his mostly black congregation.

Others have expressed fears about the long-range impact of burning the
weapons. "I am concerned about long-term, low-dose exposure of toxins,"
said Brenda Lindell, who has been fighting the incineration project for
more than a decade.

U.S. Army officials said they would begin by incinerating weapons with
chemical agents that posed the greatest danger to the community, but
added that they did not think the project posed an undue danger to

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