By Frank Lockwood
HERMISTON A trial concerning Umatilla Chemical Agent Disposal Facility permits, including cross examinations, is almost certain: On Jan. 15 the Oregon Supreme Court declined to overrule a Circuit Court opinion and ruling to that effect.
Agencies will likely be required to redefine their permitting procedures. Whether incineration of chemical weapons will be held up remains to be seen. Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) officials had hoped the Supreme Court would order Circuit Court Judge Michael Marcus to make a decision in the case dubbed G.A.S.P. III.
Marcus had refused to decide whether DEQ was correct in its decision not to revoke UMCDF permits as G.A.S.P., Sierra Club, Oregon Wildlife Federation, and 22 individual citizens had requested. He lacked the evidentiary records necessary, he noted.
The G.A.S.P. alliance claims the Umatilla Chemical Agent Disposal Facility was permitted illegally, because DEQ had repeatedly denied their requests for more formal hearings on permit decisions. (For the full story please see the February 5, 2002 issue of the Hermiston Herald.)