Transfer of Newport depot sets stage for redevelopment

The Army has signed an agreement transferring a former weapons facility in western Indiana over to the Indiana Reuse Authority so it can be used for industrial development.

Republican Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana calls Thursday's signing of the transfer of the Newport Chemical Depot a new chapter in the facility's history and says it will serve as an economic engine for the region. The facility about 25 miles north of Terre Haute once produced and stored the deadly VX nerve agent.

Conservationists had opposed the plan. They say industrial development will destroy all but about 44 acres of the state's largest restored black-soil tallgrass prairie.

The Pentagon designated the depot for closure in 2005. Destruction of the 275,000 gallons of VX stored at Newport was completed in 2008.

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