Colorado

Sep 2, 2009 5:29 PM by Associated Press

State wants increased monitoring of mustard agent at Pueblo

Colorado health officials say officials at the Pueblo Chemical Weapons Depot aren't doing enough to ensure the safety of its workers, the environment or people living near where thousands of tons of deadly mustard agent are stored.

Documents filed Tuesday in a lawsuit pending in U.S. District Court ask a judge to order the depot to increase the frequency and sensitivity of air monitoring at the facility.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is concerned over unplanned releases of mustard agent from artillery shells stored in igloos at the site. The weapons, banned by international treaty, are being stored there until they can be destroyed.

Depot spokesman Chuck Sprague says their monitoring operations are safe.

The depot has 780,000 weapons with 2,600 tons of mustard agent. Pueblo Chemical Depot has 922 storage igloos, with 102 storing chemical weapons.

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