U.S. Chemical Weapons Destruction News – May 27, 2008

In the past week the U.S. Chemical Weapons destruction effort has made several headlines. Here is the rundown:

The Anniston CW disposal site reached a milestone by completing the destruction of all the VX-filled artillery shells stored there. Overall this means that 50% of the Anniston stockpile has been destroyed and complete destruction is expected in 2013.

The Newport disposal site has passed the 90% destruction mark. Plans are now being made for cleanup and dismantling of buildings to facilitate the site’s closure in 2011.

Complete destruction of CW agents at the Pine Bluff Arsenal is expected in 2012, and the facility is looking to the future when its mission will be transitioned to meet current wartime demands.

News was not as good from the Umatilla Chemical Agent Disposal Facility. It was shut down May 14 for repairs, but is expected to be functional again in early June. There also was a mustard agent leak detected at the facility, but it was contained inside the storage structures.

Work was suspended at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal after low levels of Lewisite agent were detected in the air at the facility.

Finally, there was a report on the construction of the Pueblo Chemical Depot. Construction may be underway, but the current time lines are well outside of the 2012 destruction deadline mandated by the CWC. The facility should be completed by 2013 and operational by 2015.