Army agrees to end Holston River pollution by mid-2020

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The U.S. Army has agreed to a July 2020 deadline for reducing pollution from a Kingsport ammunition plant to safe levels.

The Tennessee Clean Water Network sued the Army and its contractor over the pollution last November. The nonprofit claimed state regulators were not doing enough to stop illegal dumping of the explosive compound RDX into the Holston River, a source of drinking water.

According to the lawsuit, regulators in 2007 gave contractor BAE Systems five years to reduce RDX dumping permitted levels. But at the end of those five years, the company was releasing more RDX rather than less.

U.S. District Judge Leon Jordan on Thursday approved the agreement between the Army, BAE, and the nonprofit. The Army says it will spend $80 million on upgrades to the plant.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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