Gov. Norm Bangerter has joined the chorus of state leaders calling for the Army to hold public hearings on a report of the effects of germ research.
In a letter to the Army released Tuesday, Bangerter said Utah residents may be particularly affected by the Army's biological defense program because Dugway Proving Ground is one of three main centers being used for the research."It is important that the citizens of Utah have adequate opportunity to evaluate this research as a whole in order to weigh carefully its design, its needs and its risks," he said.
The letter, addressed to Maj. Gen. Phillip K. Russell at Ft. Detrick, Md., asks that a hearing be held in Salt Lake City and that the Army accept comments from the public beyond the Aug. 12 deadline.
The state Legislature's Health Interim Committee also has asked the Army for a hearing in Utah.
The report, a draft environmental impact statement about the Army's overall biologic defense research program, looks at possible effects of germ research at universities nationwide - including Brigham Young University and Utah State University. The report also analyzes the effects of research at army bases, including Dugway.