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Feds seek to block activism defense for lab owner

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JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Prosecutors want to prohibit defense lawyers from claiming a laboratory owner's past environmental activism is the reason behind her prosecution on charges of faking wastewater samples.

Tennie White, owner of Mississippi Environmental Analytical Laboratories Inc., was indicted Nov. 7 on charges of making false statements and obstruction related to tests she was hired her to do.

A court filing Friday seeks to block the defense from saying White was singled out for past criticism of the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Prosecutors say Borg Warner Emissions Systems Inc. hired White to test wastewater discharge at its car parts plant in Water Valley. White allegedly created three reports in 2009 that indicated testing had been done, when it had not.

White has pleaded not guilty.

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