Army officials haven't decided whether to appeal a decision that halts the open burning of munitions at the Sierra Army Depot northwest of Reno. Critics have charged smoke plumes carry toxic chemicals to downwind residents on the reservation and adjacent areas of Nevada. The ordinance contains toxic and carcinogenic chemicals including lead, mercury, arsenic, antimony, beryllium, cadmium, nickel and dioxins. 'We have ceased open burning-detonation operations, but we have work orders pending,' depot spokesman Larry Rogers told the Reno-Gazette-Journal. 'We have complied with the law as we have always done. The Army is reviewing the situation and deciding what to do next.' An appeal of the action by the Lassen County (Calif.) officials would allow the base to resume blasting for at least 45 days. Tribal Chairman Alan Mandell praised the county air pollution board's decision to end the burning. 'The burden of proof was on the Army and it couldn't prove it needed to be burning bombs out in the open air. We are safer because the burning has stopped.' Rogers said the base has never violated laws or rules and has never been a health threat.
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