Oklahoma border town leery of planned bioterror test

Oklahoma border town leery of planned bioterror test

By JUSTIN JUOZAPAVICIUS
Associated Press

NEWKIRK, Okla. (AP) - Residents of the small town of Newkirk, Oklahoma, near the Kansas border are worried about Department of Homeland Security plans to conduct a bioterrorism response drill near town.

The government plans to release what it says are inert chemicals into the atmosphere to gauge how authorities might respond to a bioterror event.

But some concerned residents in Newkirk and nearby towns such as Arkansas City, Kansas, say they've been stonewalled by Homeland Security and don't know enough about the chemicals. Most of their questions involve the government's use of DiPel, a biological insecticide that's approved for use in organic farming.

The government says it's safe and won't harm humans or animals, but residents say they need more assurances the chemical won't get into a nearby waterway and acres of cropland.

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