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Colorado Loses Bid To Force Destruction Of Weapons

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Pueblo Chemical Depot (credit: earthobservatory.nasa.gov)

Pueblo Chemical Depot (credit: earthobservatory.nasa.gov)

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DENVER (AP) – A federal court says Colorado doesn’t have the authority to set a deadline for the Army to destroy chemical weapons stored at the Pueblo Chemical Depot.

The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday upheld a lower court’s decision throwing out the state’s lawsuit.

Colorado argued that the Army must come up with a schedule to meet a 2017 deadline set by Congress to dispose of the mustard agent. The state asserted it has authority under its hazardous waste laws.

The appeals court ruled that Congress has the power to regulate the process. It noted that Congress has extended the deadline at least six times.

The Army says it could take until 2019 to eliminate the stockpile.

The Colorado attorney general says state health officials will decide whether to appeal.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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