The Utah Physicians for Social Responsibility have invited a New York physician to Utah to speak at a Tuesday evening public hearing in Tooele on the Army's plan to upgrade a germ warfare testing facility at Dug-way Proving Ground.
The hearing follows the Army's release of a supplemental draft environmental impact statement on the project.Speaking at the hearing will be Dr. Victor Sidel, professor of social medicine at the Montefiore Medical Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, and past president of both the American Public Health Association and Physicians for Social Responsibility.
Sidel said he believes other facilities exist that can accommodate the kind of germ warfare testing Dug-way would have with an upgraded laboratory and that an additional facility is not needed. That's not to say that Sidel believes the other facilities are safe, "Just that they already exist. It simply adds to the danger and the policy problem for the work that is being done" to add a new facility, he believes.
Sidel believes the upgraded lab at Dugway would endanger workers and their families, and that an additional testing laboratory could be interpreted in the international political community as an offensive chemical weapons move rather than a defensive procedure.
Sidel said the hearing in Tooele begins at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Tooele Army Depot's community center.