2000 CPEO Military List Archive

Date: Mon, 27 Nov 2000 15:46:04 -0800 (PST)
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Advanced Tech's Apply Beyond Chem -Weapons

Chemical Weapons Working Group
PO Box 467, Berea, KY  40403
(859) 986-7565	fax:  (859) 986-2695
for more information:
Craig Williams  (859) 986-7565

for immediate release:  Sunday , November 26, 2000


Report states that non-incineration technologies tested for chemical
weapons disposal could also be used to treat other hazardous wastes

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently released a final report
with technology  information which citizens say will help change the course
of hazardous waste disposal in the U.S.

The report looks at seven non-incineration technologies currently being
considered through a federal program, the Assembled Chemical Weapons
Assessment (ACWA) for disposal of chemical weapons. Titled, "Potential
Applicability of ACWA Technologies to RCRA Waste Streams and Contaminated
Media", the report states that "the potential market for ACWA technologies
includes wastes that currently are treated by combustion and organic waste
that are treated by other technologies," such as pesticides, industrial
chemicals, agricultural chemicals,  medicinal chemicals and more.

The ACWA program was created in 1997 after Congress directed the Department
of Defense to identify and demonstrate non-incineration technologies for
chemical weapons disposal.  Since 1991, the Chemical Weapons Working Group
(CWWG), a grassroots coalition of citizens working for the safe disposal of
chemical weapons, has pushed for this type of program.

CWWG Director Craig Williams said, "After years of being told that no
viable alternatives to incineration existed, the ACWA technology
demonstrations are bringing us closer to achieving safe disposal of
chemical weapons."  He added, "The CWWG has not been alone in its call for
non-incineration disposal technologies.  The ACWA technologies and other
advanced disposal systems could make toxic technologies like incineration

Jane Williams, Director of California Communities Against Toxics, concurs.
"This report confirms that incineration is not the only way to destroy
hazardous wastes from the Superfund and Resource Conservation and Recovery
Act programs.  It is time for the states and EPA to take a close look at
replacing incineration as the technology of choice for the destruction of
hazardous wastes."

Incinerators are known to release toxics such as dioxins and furans, PCBs,
heavy metals, and hundreds more unidentified products of incomplete
combustion (PICs).  Human exposure to even small amounts of these
chemicals, either directly or through the food chain, results in increased
risks of cancer,  reproductive disorders, birth defects, and immune system

In contrast, ACWA technologies were chosen for demonstrations based on
stringent criteria developed by the consensus of the ACWA "Dialogue," which
included grassroots environmental advocates, state and federal regulators,
local citizen leaders and the Department of Defense representatives.  For
example, ACWA technology vendors must be able to characterize air emissions
until the effluents are proven safe for release; identify all by-products;
and demonstrate a complete treatment capability including any secondary

Demonstrations of seven non-incineration technologies are now complete, and
ACWA will submit a final report to Congress in early 2001.

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

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