Colo. loses bid to force destruction of weapons
DENVER — A federal appeals court says Colorado doesn’t have the authority to set a deadline for destroying chemical weapons stored at an Army facility outside Pueblo.
The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday upheld a lower court’s decision throwing out the state’s lawsuit over the Pueblo Chemical Depot.
Colorado argued that the Army needs to come up with a schedule to meet the 2017 deadline set by Congress to dispose of mustard agent stored there. The state asserted it has authority under its hazardous waste laws.
However the appeals court ruled that Congress has reserved the power and flexibility to regulate the process. It noted that Congress has extended the deadline at least six times and could do so again.
The Army says it could take until 2019 to eliminate the entire stockpile.