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    Employees in protective gear are seen during a demonstration in a chemical weapons disposal facility at GEKA (Gesellschaft zur Entsorgung von chemischen Kampfstoffen und Ruestungsaltlasten) in Munster, northern Germany, on October 30, 2013

    US Chemicals Warehouse Extension in Germany Must Be Discussed - Activist

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    The issue of the increase of the capacity of a US hazardous substances warehouse in southwestern Germany, which has provoked protests among activists, must be discussed on the federal level, according to Matthias Joa, a member of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) activist group.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The issue of the increase of the capacity of a US hazardous substances warehouse in southwestern Germany, which has provoked protests among activists, must be discussed on the federal level, Matthias Joa, a member of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) activist group, told Sputnik.

    "The civil activists have paid the attention to the fact that various procedures have not been implemented. For example, the environmental compatibility has not been examined … We believe that it is not correct to make such a decision on the municipal level, and we would like to discuss it on the federal level" Joa said.

    Up to 200 residents of Germany's southwestern Rhenish Palatinate region have created the initiative group struggling against the US plans to extend the capacity of the warehouse from 70 to 1,900 tonnes, which will become the largest US warehouse of toxic chemicals in Europe.

    Since the US Defense Logistics Agency has filed the application for the warehouse capacity increase with the German region’s authorities, the local residents have submitted over 40 complaints expressing their concerns over the possible threat posed by the chemicals to the environment as well as the lack of transparency from the US side in listing accurately all the substances which would be stored at the site.

    In their inquiries, the local activists criticize the lack of the technical maintenance as well as emergency planning as part of the warehouse expansion application. The residents are also concerned that the local fire brigade which is not subject to expansion will not have enough capacity in case of emergency.

    "I doubt that the US Army fire service and fire services of nearby districts… will be able to cope with an emergency situation under the condition of a twenty-eightfold increase in the storage capacity. And of course, if the do not know exactly what is being kept there," Joa added.

    Michael Gauly, head of the local administration in charge of construction, environment and recycling, said that the inquiries of the local activists will be discussed by the German authorities on various levels including the federal government.

    The US hazardous substances warehouse, located between the towns of Lingenfeld and Germersheim, has been supplying the US Armed Forces across Europe with such chemicals as fuel additive and anti-icing substances since 2013.

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    Tags:
    warehouse, chemicals, environment, Alternative for Germany (AfD), Germany, United States
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