Reading Room

9th Circuit Court Hears Tri-Valley CAREs' Challenge to Livermore Lab's Bio-Warfare Agent Research Facility

On Wednesday, January 11th, Tri-Valley CAREs' Staff Attorney, Scott Yundt, argued the group's appeal in front of a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals panel challenging the U.S. Dept. of Energy's (DOE) continued operation of a controversial bio-warfare agent facility at Livermore Lab without proper environmental review.

The bio-warfare agent research facility, a Biosafety Level-3 (BSL-3), houses dangerous experiments with live anthrax, plague, Q fever and dozens of other potentially lethal pathogens. Some of these bio-agents will be aerosolized for use on small animals (up to 100 at a time) to ascertain how effective the agents would be in killing humans.

Further, the Livermore Lab BSL-3 is authorized to conduct experiments with genetically modified bio-agents of potentially novel (and unknown) virulence.

Written briefs were submitted over the summer and are available via links below. Tri-Valley CAREs asked the Ninth Circuit Court to compel DOE to undertake an in-depth analysis in a full Environmental Impact Statement with public hearings and all relevant information made available for public comment.

The three judge panel, which includes Judge Noonan, Judge Smith and Judge Rakoff, asked good questions during the argument and Tri-Valley CAREs' positions appeared to be well received. The court announced at the end of argument that "This is an important matter and we'll get to it promptly." Check back often for breaking news!

Click here to listen to the audio file of the hearing (requires Windows Media Player)

Click hereto read the Daily Journal coverage of the hearing

Click here to read the San Francisco Chronicle coverage of the hearing

Click here to read the Contra Costa Times coverage of the hearing

Click here to read the Daily Californian coverage of the hearing