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Arlington Expansion Prompts Environmental Concerns

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File photo of Section 60 of Arlington National Cemetery, where American military members killed in Iraq and Afghanistan are currently laid to rest. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

File photo of Section 60 of Arlington National Cemetery, where American military members killed in Iraq and Afghanistan are currently laid to rest. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

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ARLINGTON, Va. (CBSDC/AP) — Expansion plans at the Arlington National Cemetery are prompting environmental concerns.

Critics say the 27-acre Millenium Project expansion would damage a stream and trees that have been at the site since the Civil War. And they are asking whether the cemetery should instead begin preparing for the day when the cemetery can no longer bury anyone else.

Cemetery officials plan to dedicate a new area on Thursday where more than 20,000 cremated remains can be stored. Without it, officials say the cemetery would run out of niche space by 2016. Kathryn Condon, the executive director of Army National Military Cemeteries, says if nothing is done, Arlington will run out of in-ground burial space by 2025. The Millenium Project would add nearly 30,000 grave sites, but also remove hundreds of trees.

WNEW’s Kevin Patrick contributed to this report. Follow him and WNEW on Twitter.

(TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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