2003 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 15 Sep 2003 14:11:27 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Cleanup of chemicals at Army site hits snags
Cleanup of chemicals at Army site hits snags
Neutralization process undergoes fine-tuning By Lane Harvey Brown
September 14, 2003

Flaws discovered in Aberdeen Proving Ground's chemical agent destruction
plant have pushed the project at least six months behind schedule and
created work delays costing about $200,000 a day.

Among the problems: false alarms, overheating equipment and a slow pace
in cleansing containers that held the mustard agent.

But military officials and the contractors hired for the project remain
optimistic about the plant, which is the Army's first to destroy agent
without using an incinerator.

And news of the delays has triggered few complaints from area residents
and other activists, who remember when the stockpile was to be

"People are happy they're doing it the way they're doing it, and they're
happy that they are taking their time," said John Nunn, a Kent County
resident and member of the Citizens Advisory Committee. The group has
followed the issue closely and helped turn the tide from incineration to
neutralization in the 1990s.

Of the Army's eight chemical weapons stockpile sites around the United
States, Aberdeen is the first to employ neutralization, using hot water
rather than burning to break down banned carcinogenic chemicals.

At Aberdeen, the Army has a 1,600-ton stockpile of mustard agent, a
blistering substance that looks like molasses and smells garlicky. Its
destruction began in June, and 52 tons of the agent have been
eliminated, Army officials said.

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