The Utah Court of Appeals has upheld the state permits that allow the incineration of chemical weapons at the Tooele Chemical Agent Demilitarization Facility.

In a unanimous opinion released Thursday, a three-judge appeals panel "declined to disturb" the orders of the Utah Solid and Hazardous Waste Control Board.The Sierra Club, Chemical Weapons Working Group and Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation had challenged the trial burn permits, arguing the facility could not be operated safely and legal requirements for hazardous waste incineration had not been met.

Writing for the appeals court, Judge Gregory K. Orme said the groups had failed to present persuasive evidence that emissions from the burn operations posed an imminent hazard to human health or the environment.

Orme said certain accidents cited by the incinerator opponents occurred during the so-called "shakedown" period, which was intended to identify and correct problems prior to trial burns.