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Homeland Security suspension bioterror tests in Oklahoma

NEWKIRK, Okla. – The Department of Homeland Security said Thursday it will suspend plans to conduct bioterrorism drills in the vicinity of the Kansas-Oklahoma border over concerns about their impact on the ground of the Native American tribes consider sacred, because the more than 100 children are buried.

Homeland Security spokesman John Verrico said in an e-mail that the tests were hanged about objections against them take place at the Chilocco Indian Agricultural School. The Chilocco school, which operated from the late 1800s to 1980, was one of several federal government-run boarding schools, where the U.S. once sought to assimilate Native American children. The tribes say the federal agency is not to protect a site with religious and cultural significance.

The agency for environmental assessment for the test already said a number of chemically inert and non-hazardous biological materials to be released to the evaluating the ability of the buildings to protect inhabitants from outside the biological hazards. The proposed testing was planned for the months of February and June and July.

“While the work remains very important for the security of our country, further evaluation will be performed to determine the best location for future testing,” Verrico said.

Homeland Security said that the chemical substances that it wants to use are found in household products such as sunscreen, cosmetics and detergents.

A chemical substance that is the cause of most of the concerns, particularly among the many farmers who live nearby, is called DiPel, a biological insecticide that is commercially available since the 1970s and approved for use in organic agriculture. The Homeland Security project manager, has said that the chemicals do not pose harm to humans, animals or the hundreds of acres in the area of arable land and pasture.

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