2002 CPEO Military List Archive

From: Lenny Siegel <lsiegel@cpeo.org>
Date: 27 Dec 2002 00:20:45 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Army to reduce planned chemical monitoring at Aberdeen facility
At the Edgewood Arsenal, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD, the Army is
reportedly stepping back quietly from a promise to install stationary
chemical agent monitors at the perimeter of the Aberdeen Chemical
Demilitarization Facility (ABCDF).  

It its Final Environmental Impact Statement for the facility, as well as
its Monitoring Concept Plan, the Army agreed to put in place perimeter
monitors to determine if chemical agent has migrated beyond the post
perimeter into the adjacent neighborhood. These are not real-time
emergency warning monitors. They are designed to collect air samples on
adsorbent cartridges for 8-12 hours; the cartridges are analyzed within
a day. 

Other chemical agent demil facilities - Anniston Army Depot, Blue Grass
Army Depot, Pine Bluff Arsenal, Tooele Army Depot, Umatilla Depot
Activity and Johnston Island - have such perimeter monitors. 

At Aberdeen, however, the Army and its engineers apparently feel that
there are enough real-time monitors located around the agent storage
yard and demil plant, and that the perimeter monitors are redundant.
They only plan to use one, mobile perimeter monitor. 

They may be right that the perimeter monitors add only marginal benefit
to the public, but at two other demil sites perimeter monitors have
detected releases missed by real-time reporting equipment, allowing
facility operators to determine the source.

More important, the public has been told that monitors will be
installed, but my sources say they have been not informed, let alone
consulted, on the decision to cut back. Particularly with heightened
sensitivity, across the country, to the risks of chemical weapons, one
would think that the Army would check with the public before any real or
even perceived reductions on their safety net.


Lenny Siegel
Director, Center for Public Environmental Oversight
c/o PSC, 278-A Hope St., Mountain View, CA 94041
Voice: 650/961-8918 or 650/969-1545
Fax: 650/961-8918

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