Aug 9, 2012

New Approach Needed to Destroy Buried CWM at 250 Military Sites

WASHINGTON — The current approach for identifying and destroying buried chemical munitions and related chemical warfare materials uncovered during environmental remediation projects is neither reliable enough nor has the capability to efficiently tackle large-scale projects, says a new report from the National Research Council ...
Remediation of Buried Chemical Warfare Materiel
Following a 1985 directive from Congress, the Army has undertaken the monumental task of destroying the existing U.S. stockpile of chemical weapons. To date, 90 percent of the stockpile has been destroyed, and the remaining 10 percent is expected to be destroyed by 2022. However, during the early- to mid-20th century, chemical weapons and chemical warfare materiel were often disposed of by open pit burning and burial at approximately 250 sites in 40 states, the District of Columbia and three territories.
Remediation of this buried materiel, in addition to environmental cleanup of the burial sites, therefore poses significant challenges to the nation and DOD. The report examines important regulatory issues that ultimately affect the need, timing, and costs of remediating these sites. Federal and state environmental remediation policies address whether buried CWM must be excavated and destroyed or contained in place ...

US FUDS with Buried Chemical WMD
The report recommends as a "matter of urgency" that the secretary of defense increase funding for the remediation of chemical warfare materiel to enable the Army to complete the inventories of known and suspected buried chemical munitions no later than 2013.
Remediation of Buried Chemical Warfare Materiel
National Academy of Sciences
August 6 2012

1 comment:

Allen Hengst said...

Daily News - Inside EPA (8/ 24/12):

The military's current approach for locating and destroying CWM that is uncovered during environmental cleanup projects -- which involves about a dozen organizations within DOD and the Army -- "is neither reliable enough nor has the capability to efficiently tackle large-scale projects," NRC says ... "Although it is impossible at this time to predict the ultimate cost of completely remediating all buried CWM, [DOD] should initially plan for multi-billion-dollar costs over several years," the report says ... Further, that fund could soon be in jeopardy, potentially eliminating what little money is available for RCWM, the report says. The CAMD,D also funds the much larger chemical weapons stockpile destruction program, and as that higher priority project nears completion, the account can be expected to come under greater pressure to significantly be reduced or scrapped.

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