NEWKIRK, Okla. – An Oklahoma community says it simply doesn’t believe that it should be the site of biochemical warfare testing by the federal government.
The Department of Homeland Security announced it would be conducting biochemical warfare testing at the Chilocco Indian School in Newkirk next year. Testing months include January and February, then again in June and July.
“Whenever you hear somebody say, we’re going to be testing chemicals just miles from your home, miles from where you grow livestock, it’s scary,” Brittny Smith told KFOR.
Officials say researchers will release a non-toxic powder near the closed school and see if the powder could get into homes and buildings. According to KJRH, the powder is supposed to simulate the behavior of harmful biological materials that could be used during a terror attack.
For residents in the area, they don’t believe that the testing will be harmless.
“[The researchers] will be having to wear Hazmat suits and respirators in the area that they’re testing these chemicals,” Smith said.
Officials with the Department of Homeland Security say that the substance is practically harmless, unless you’re right next to it, which is why the researchers will be wearing protective gear.
“I had a child that died of asthma because of particles in the air. I have a child that is still suffer from asthma. I have a grandbaby now. I don’t want them to have to worry about or me have to worry about what could happen if they breathe in any type of particle that could possibly kill,” Candace Stephens told KJRH.