2000 CPEO Military List Archive

From: Lenny Siegel <lsiegel@cpeo.org>
Date: Wed, 22 Nov 2000 14:54:24 -0800 (PST)
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Another Colorado letter re chemical bomblet disposal
Colorado remains dissatisfied with the Army's response to the discovery
of now six nerve gas bomblets at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal. Governor
Owens sent another letter to the Pentagon on November 21:

November 21, 2000

William Cohen
Secretary of Defense
Office of the Secretary
1000 Defense Pentagon
Washington, DC 20301

Dear Secretary Cohen:

I am writing to again express my concern about the Army's delays in
disposing of sarin gas bomblets at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal. A total
of six bomblets have now been found, but the Army has yet to present a
plan for disposal that the State will permit.

After the first bomblet was found over a month ago the Colorado
Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) attempted to work
with the Army, while also ensuring that surrounding communities and the
environment are protected. Unfortunately, our efforts to ensure safe
disposal of the bomblets have been delayed by the Army.

On November 10, CDPHE issued an amended Order to the Army that required
a search of the area where the bomblets were found. We still don't know
the scope of the search or the manner in which it was conducted. The
State must have documentation of your compliance so we can determine if
we agree with the search method being used.

In order to avoid prosecution by the State, the Army must indicate how
it is going to comply - or has complied - with the Order by November 27.

I am also disappointed that the Army has submitted a detonation plan
that includes the use of a "Tuff Shed." As you are aware this detonation
method proved to be ineffective, and the State will not allow its use.
If a disposal method that protects the surrounding community is not
presented, I will instruct CDPHE to mandate a disposal method.

We take very seriously both the disposal of the bomblets and also
compliance with the Order we have issues. I intend for disposal of these
items to take place in the next several weeks. Thus, the Army must
prepare a plan that the State can approve by December 1. If at that
time, the Army has not yet submitted such a plan, we will amend our
Order to mandate a disposal method that the Army will have to use.


Bill Owens
Governor, The State of Colorado


Lenny Siegel
Director, Center for Public Environmental Oversight
c/o PSC, 222B View St., Mountain View, CA 94041
Voice: 650/961-8918 or 650/969-1545
Fax: 650/968-1126

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