2000 CPEO Military List Archive

Date: Mon, 27 Nov 2000 18:44:50 -0500 (EST)
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Bomblets Found at RMA

Non-Stockpile Chemical Weapons Citizens Coalition
PO Box 467	Berea, KY  40403
(859) 986-0868	kefcrowe@acs.eku.edu

for more information:
Sandra Horrocks (303) 470-1352
Susan Maret   (303) 698-9227
Elizabeth Crowe  (859) 986-0868

For immediate release:  Wednesday, November 22, 2000


The recent discoveries of a nerve agent "bomblet" and five other
unidentified bombs at Colorado's Rocky Mountain Arsenal (RMA) has gained
the attention not only of citizens living nearby the site, but all over the
country.  As the Army, Colorado state regulators, and EPA all weigh in on
the discussion of how to dispose of the bomblets safely and effectively,
citizens groups are demanding to be included in the decision-making process.

Rocky Mountain Arsenal, a 27 square mile Army depot near Denver, Colorado,
was for decades an Army chemical weapons production site.  While most of
the chemical weapons at the Arsenal were destroyed years ago by
neutralization or incineration, some abandoned chemical warfare items
remain.  These are items were buried or dumped in the 1940s through the
1970s, and are now being recovered -- at times unintentionally -- during
cleanup activities at the Arsenal.  On October 16, a GB Sarin bomblet was
found; since then five bombs of unknown content have been unearthed. The
grapefruit-size bomblet filled with lethal GB Sarin nerve agent has been
determined by the Army to be too unsafe to transport, and must be destroyed
in place.

Susan Maret, of the Non-Stockpile Chemical Weapons Citizens Coalition, says
release of the chemical agents contained in the bomblet could impact nearby
Commerce City and Denver residents.  Maret feels it is imperative that
citizens have a role in determining which disposal method is used for
destruction of these warfare items.  "We have several disposal options at
the Arsenal, some of which may be more protective of public health than
others," she said.  "Citizens have a right to review all the disposal
technology information available, and a right to help determine which
method could work the best. This is what informed consent is all about."

Options currently being considered for the bomblet disposal include the
Donovan chamber, designed for contained detonation of explosive warfare
items, and the Explosive Destruction System (EDS), which has just completed
tested in the UK for contained treatment of explosive items containing
chemical agents.  The EDS is expected to arrive back in the U.S. next week.
Maret believes that each method is worth consideration, and that many
citizens are willing to work with the Arsenal, and state and federal
regulators to make the right decision.

Sandra Horrocks, Chair of the Rocky Mountain Arsenal Subcommittee, Rocky
Mountain Chapter, Sierra Club, says "Over the years, citizens have been
excluded from decision making as related to Arsenal remediation. This is a
perfect time for the Army to ask citizens how they feel about destruction
technologies. Since the Arsenal has been inadequately characterized in
terms of its waste, it is now more important than ever to review safe and
effective destructive technologies to deal with weapons that will be
discovered in the future."

Elizabeth Crowe, coordinator of the Non-Stockpile Chemical Weapons Citizens
Coalition, a grassroots network focused on the recovery and disposal of
abandoned chemical warfare items, said, "There is a great likelihood that
more chemical agent-filled bombs will be found at the Arsenal.  Getting
citizen involvement in the technology decision-making process now will
ensure that the safest, most efficient disposal method is used."

Craig Williams, Director
Chemical Weapons Working Group
P.O. Box 467 Berea, Kentucky  40403
(859)-986-7565  (fax-2695)

You can find archived listserve messages on the CPEO website at 


If this email has been forwarded to you and you'd like to subscribe, please send a message to: 


T O P I C A  http://www.topica.com/t/17
Newsletters, Tips and Discussions on Your Favorite Topics

  Prev by Date: [CPEO-MEF] Internet Training - December 13, 2000
Next by Date: [CPEO-MEF] Advanced Tech's Apply Beyond Chem -Weapons
  Prev by Thread: [CPEO-MEF] Internet Training - December 13, 2000
Next by Thread: [CPEO-MEF] Advanced Tech's Apply Beyond Chem -Weapons

CPEO Lists
Author Index
Date Index
Thread Index