2002 CPEO Military List Archive

From: christinebettencourt@earthlink.net
Date: 21 Nov 2002 18:28:25 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: Re: [CPEO-MEF] Suit may delay arms incineration in Alabama
Regarding Chemical Weapons incineration; Umatilla Chemical Weapons plant in
Oregon is responsible for exposing contractors building the incinerater.  I
was too close in 1999 and word was the contractors and neighbors were sick
and so was EPA investigators. I spoke with the wife of an electrician.  She
said the guys would get the flu, but then they were hospitalized.  Her
husband's brain was purple on a catscan and he had blisters inside him.  He
was dying and nothing could be done.  I told her he was outgassing and
contaminating the family, she cried and said oh my God, my two year old is
getting blister too and she would vomit after close contact.  It was a
hrorible reality.

----- Original Message -----
From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
To: <cpeo-military@igc.topica.com>
Sent: Wednesday, November 20, 2002 1:51 PM
Subject: Re: [CPEO-MEF] Suit may delay arms incineration in Alabama

> Folks should remember in addition to the incidents at Tooele the
> releases at Johnston Atoll. In fact, even after the incineration had
> been completed at JACADs and the incinerator itself dismantled, there
> were two releases of VX nerve gas -- and press releases by the Army
> acknowledging same.
> These are the sorts of things the plaintiffs in the law suit are no
> doubt going to tell the court citizens can expect from the Army's
> assurances that it can burn CWM safely in populated areas.
> At JACADs From December 3 to December 5, 2000, an unknown quantity of
> untreated VX nerve agent was released to the environment; the VX was
> monitored during this period in an area not designed for agent; and when
> the first sample initially confirmed that VX at an unknown concentration
> was present where it was not expected, the facility's response was not
> protective of facility personnel or the environment. As a result, up to
> seven additional individuals were potentially exposed to VX and the
> storage bin in question was not secured until many hours later.
> The Army failed immediately to activate the J facility alarms to notify
> all facility personnel and failed to implement the RCRA Contingency Plan
> upon the December 5, 2000, release of VX nerve agent. The facility was
> aware of an emergency situation at 1:56 am on that date but delayed
> implementing the Contingency Plan until 10:20 am.
> The contractor onsite failed to notify EPA of the VX release within 24
> hours from the time the Permittee became aware of the noncompliance.
> In its press release, the Army stated that investigations concluded the
> contamination occurred as a result of the introduction of a new material
> used during the VX agent campaign to absorb residual agent spills.
> Personnel who handled the container were examined, and no signs of agent
> exposure were evident, according to the Army.
> "The December agent release posed a negligible risk to the workers and
> the environment," stated JACADS Site Project Manager Gary McCloskey. "As
> the safety of civilians and the surrounding Johnston Atoll ecosystem is
> paramount, the Army has already taken steps to prevent a similar
> chemical release from occurring."
> Another release of VX agent took place in August of 2002.
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