A public hearing on a controversial document about research to develop defenses against germ warfare is scheduled for Sept. 19 at 7 p.m. at the Tooele Army Depot Theater.

Discussion will center around a draft environmental impact statement about the Army's germ research program. The Army claims such research poses virtually no threat to the environment or to citizens, which critics dispute.

This is of particular interest because Utah's Dugway Proving Ground is where germ warfare defenses are tested, and Brigham Young University and Utah State University have government contracts for such research.

The Tooele hearing was not originally planned by the Army, but was added after pleas from Utah politicians.

An important press conference with Gov. Norm Bangerter, Rep. Jim Hansen, R-Utah, and a high-ranking military official has also been called at the Tooele Army Depot Monday at 4:30 p.m. Hansen's campaign will say only that the trio will make a major announcement regarding Dugway operations.

The Army is expected to announce soon whether it will proceed with plans for a controversial Dugway lab that could make aerosols out of dangerous germs for use in testing such things as face masks and decontamination systems.