Colorado

Sep 25, 2009 8:43 AM by Associated Press

Judge tosses lawsuit over Pueblo chemical weapons

A federal judge has rejected a request from Colorado health officials to set an enforceable deadline for destroying chemical weapons stored at the Pueblo Chemical Depot.

U.S. District Judge Richard Matsch ruled Tuesday that federal law limits the state's authority to set timelines and deadlines for destroying mustard agent stored in Pueblo County.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment filed the lawsuit. Jim Martin, the agency's executive director, says state officials will consult with the Colorado congressional delegation about enforcing the 2017 deadline set by Congress, a deadline that has been pushed back repeatedly.

The state health department recently filed a second lawsuit to force the Army to increase the frequency and level of monitoring of the stored weapons. No court date has been set in the case.

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