Chemical Weapons

Anniston Chemical Disposal Facility1
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A federal judge says an environmental group hasn't proved its case.

The judge is clearing the way for the U.S. Army to start scrapping chemical weapons from the Cold War-era at a military site in Alabama. He's rejecting the environmental group's claim that the process will put nearby residents in danger.

Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson is denying the group's request for a temporary restraining order to block the start-up of the incinerator that will destroy the weapons.

At a hearing in Washington, Jackson said any claims of harm are "purely speculative." The Army says incineration is a safe way to dispose of the weapons, which have been stored at the site for decades.

The incinerator is about 50 miles east of Birmingham. The Army plans to destroy more than 2200 tons of nerve agents and mustard gas over seven years.

An Army spokesman had said that if the judge sided with the military, test burns could start as soon as Saturday.