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1 Background and Overview Since World War I, the United States has considered it necessary to have the capability to engage in chemical warfare. Today, as a result of the United States’ decision to sign and ratify the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC),1 the long-term storage of aging chemical warfare materiel (CWM) is no longer permitted. Also, the public is concerned about the risks associated with the long-term storage of CWM. Consequently, the United States and other signatories of the CWC are in the process of destroying all declared2 CWM by the treaty deadline of April 29, 2007.3 U.S. law and international treaties have divided CWM into two categories: “stockpile” and “non-stockpile.” Stockpile materiel includes all chemical agents available for use on the battlefield, including chemical agents assembled into weapons and in bulk (1-ton) containers. Stockpile materiel is stored at eight locations in the United States. Non-stockpile materiel is a diverse category that includes all other chemical weapon-related items.4 Much of this materiel was buried on current and former military sites but is now being recovered as the land is remediated. Some CWM also is buried at current and former test and firing ranges. Non-stockpile materiel that has been recovered is now stored at several military installations across the United States. According to the CWC, non-stockpile CWM items in storage at the time of treaty ratification in April 1997 must be destroyed within 2, 5, or 10 years, depending on the type of chemical weapon and the type of agent. Non-stockpile CWM recovered after treaty ratification must be declared under the CWC and destroyed “as soon as possible” (U.S. Army, 2001b). Generally, non-stockpile items that are recovered have been transported to a nearby stockpile site for safe storage.5 The U.S. Army’s Program Manager for Chemical Demilitarization (PMCD) has overall responsibility for dispos 1 Formally, the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and Their Destruction. The treaty was signed by the United States on January 13, 1993, and ratified by the U.S. Congress on April 25, 1997. The CWC specifies the time period within which covered categories of CWM must be destroyed. 2 CWM that remains buried is not subject to the treaty. Once the CWM has been recovered and characterized, it must be declared under the CWC and must then be destroyed as soon as possible. Non-stockpile CWM items in storage at the time of treaty ratification must be destroyed within 2, 5, or 10 years of the ratification date, depending on the type of chemical weapon or on the type of chemical with which an item is filled (U.S. Army, 2001c). 3 Under the CWC, countries may apply for an extension of the deadline of up to 5 years. The United States has acknowledged that some of the stockpile destruction facilities are likely to continue to operate for several years beyond 2007. The Product Manager for Non-Stockpile Chemical Materiel has indicated to the committee that the NSCMP intends to meet the 2007 deadline for destruction of all recovered non-stockpile materiel currently in storage. 4 The category includes buried chemical warfare materiel, recovered chemical warfare materiel, binary chemical weapons, former production facilities, and miscellaneous chemical warfare materiel. 5 An exception is recovered chemical agent identification sets (CAIS), which contain small quantities of chemical agents and militarized industrial chemicals, used for training purposes. These are sometimes stored at the site where they are recovered.
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ing of all CWM. Under the PMCD’s direction are two programs: the Chemical Stockpile Disposal Program (CSDP) and the Non-Stockpile Chemical Materiel Product (NSCMP).6 Although this study is concerned with the destruction of non-stockpile materiel, a brief review of the stockpile destruction program is presented here, because (1) the latter program is more mature than the non-stockpile destruction program and (2) the chemical agents in the two inventories are similar, so that many of the technologies and social or political factors that have influenced the stockpile program are expected to have similar effects on the non-stockpile program. THE STOCKPILE DESTRUCTION PROGRAM The Baseline Incineration Program The U.S. effort to destroy its stockpile chemical materiel was already well under way at the time the CWC was signed, in January 1993.7 The Army’s baseline method for destroying the stockpile is to construct chemical disposal facilities in which the chemical agents are incinerated. There is currently one operating chemical disposal facility in the continental United States, at the Deseret Chemical Depot (DCD) near Tooele, Utah. An additional facility on Johnston Atoll in the Pacific Ocean completed destruction of its inventory in 2000 and is presently undergoing closure.8 Together, these two facilities are expected to destroy about one-half of the U.S. stockpile, the remainder of which is dispersed among seven other storage sites in the continental United States. Because federal law prohibits the shipment of these weapons across state lines for disposal,9 the Army planned to construct similar incineration systems at other sites. Baseline (incineration) facilities have been completed, and operational testing is under way in Umatilla, Oregon, and Anniston, Alabama. In Pine Bluff, Arkansas, construction of a chemical disposal facility was approximately two-thirds complete as of March 2002.10 Until 2000, stockpile facilities were prohibited by law from accepting and destroying non-stockpile CWM; in November 1999, however, Congress amended the law (P.L. 106-65) to allow non-stockpile materiel to be destroyed at stockpile facilities, provided that regulatory authorities in the states where the stockpile facilities are located agree. Alternative Technologies for Destroying the Stockpile The Army’s choice of incineration as a disposal technology has met with strong public and political opposition at some locations—so much so that the Army has sought alternative nonincineration technologies for destroying stockpile chemical agents in two key programs: one for chemical agents stored in 1-ton bulk containers and one for chemical agents in assembled chemical weapons. The Alternative Technologies and Approaches Program In the Alternative Technologies and Approaches Program (ATAP), neutralization processes based on hydrolysis of chemical agent either in pure water or in sodium hydroxide solution have been developed to destroy the chemical agents in bulk (1-ton) containers stored at Aberdeen, Maryland, and Newport, Indiana. Construction of facilities to carry this out is under way (NRC, 1994, 1998). The Alternative Technologies Program for Assembled Chemical Weapons Assessment In 1996, Congress also mandated and appropriated money for the Army to demonstrate at least two nonincineration technologies for the destruction of assembled chemical weapons (ACW) for possible use at the Pueblo Chemical Depot (PCD), in Colorado, and at the Bluegrass Army Depot (BGAD), in Kentucky. Six technologies passed the initial screening, and three were finally selected for demonstration (NRC, 2000b). Two, the Parsons/Honeywell water hydrolysis of explosives and agent technologies (WHEAT) process and General Atomics Total Solution (GATS), were further evaluated in an engineering design study at Pueblo Chemical 6 As discussed in Chapter 4, many different Army organizations are involved in making decisions about sites where non-stockpile chemical materiel is stored or recovered. Often, the site is a current military base or depot, where the primary decision maker is the base or depot commander. The role of the NSCMP is to develop treatment technology options and offer treatment services to decision makers at these sites. 7 In November 1985, Congress passed Public Law 99-145, requiring destruction of stockpile agents and munitions. 8 Chemical weapons stored overseas were collected at Johnston Island, southwest of Hawaii, and destroyed by the Johnston Atoll Chemical Agent Disposal System (JACADS), the initial chemical demilitarization facility. JACADS began destruction activities in 1990 and completed processing of more than 2,000 tons of agent and more than 400,000 munitions and containers in the overseas stockpile in November 2000 (U.S. Army, 2000a). 9 P.L. 103-337 prohibited the transport across state lines of CWM in the stockpile; it allowed regulated movement of non-stockpile chemical materiel across state lines. 10 The stockpile inventories at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, and at Newport Chemical Depot, Indiana, consist of bulk agents that will be destroyed by chemical hydrolysis. Technologies for destruction of the stockpile inventories at Bluegrass Army Depot, Kentucky, and Pueblo Chemical Depot, Colorado, have not yet been selected.
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Depot. Congress then mandated that the program manager for ACW demonstrate the remaining three undemonstrated technologies. These last three technologies were demonstrated from March to July 2000 (NRC, 1999b, 2000b, 2001c). Two of them, AEA’s Silver II process and the Eco-Logic/Foster Wheeler process, were selected to be carried forward to an engineering design study. These two technologies, along with GATS, are candidates for destroying the chemical munitions at Bluegrass Army Depot. THE NON-STOCKPILE CHEMICAL MATERIEL DISPOSAL PROGRAM Prior to 1991, the U.S. effort to dispose of CWM was limited to stockpile materiel. The 1991 Defense Appropriations Act directed the Secretary of Defense to establish the Product Manager for Non-Stockpile Chemical Materiel (PMNSCM) with responsibility for the destruction of non-stockpile CWM. Non-Stockpile Sites In the 1993 Defense Appropriations Act,11 Congress directed the Army to report the locations, types, and quantities of non-stockpile chemical materiel; to report the methods to be used for its destruction; to provide cost and time estimates; and to assess transportation options. A survey and analysis report provided an overview of the task facing the Army (U.S. Army, 1993, updated in draft form in 1996). As of 1996, the Army had located 168 potential burial sites at 63 locations in 31 states, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the District of Columbia (U.S. Army, 1996). Of the 63 locations, most are current or former military facilities. They include (1) sites with chemical agent identification sets (CAIS) only, (2) sites with small quantities of materiel with no associated explosives, (3) sites with small quantities of materiel with explosives, and (4) sites with large quantities of materiel with and without explosives. The majority of the sites involve small quantities of materiel. Non-Stockpile Inventory Non-stockpile chemical weapons materiel (NSCWM) is far more diverse than stockpile CWM: for example, it contains U.S. unitary munitions and accessories dating back to World War I, binary munitions, and German munitions brought back to the United States after World War II. There is a greater variety of chemical agents in NSCWM than in stockpile materiel (including blister agents, nerve agents, blood agents, and choking agents),12 as well as militarized industrial chemicals. Energetics found in chemical munitions include aromatic nitro compounds such as trinitrotoluene (TNT), aromatic nitramines such as tetryl, heterocyclic nitramines such as cyclotrimethylenetrinitramine (RDX) and high-melting explosive (HMX), and nitrate esters used in propellants (e.g., nitrocellulose and nitroglycerine). The most commonly encountered energetics are tetryl, TNT, and composition B (60 percent RDX, 39 percent TNT, 1 percent beeswax).13 The condition of the NSCWM is also much more variable than that of the stockpile, especially for items that have severely deteriorated after being buried for decades. The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) requires that the following non-stockpile categories already declared at the time of the CWC’s entry into force in 1997 be destroyed by April 29, 2007: binary CWM components; recovered CWM (excluding CAIS, which were developed for defensive purposes and were not intended to be lethal, and are therefore not covered by the CWC); former production facilities; and some types of miscellaneous CWM, including containers filled with agent that was removed from leaking munitions. The major chemical agents in the U.S. inventory are phosgene (CG, COCl2) and the compounds shown in Figure 1-1: GB (sarin), VX, and HD (mustard). The chemicals DF (CH3POF2) and QL (CH3P(OEt)(OCH2CH2N-i-Pr2)), which are precursors for GB and VX, respectively, are also components. Tables 1-1 through 1-4 present the most current information available to the committee regarding the numbers, types of agent fills, and explosive configurations of recovered mu 11 Section 176 of P.L. 102-484. 12 John Gieseking, Office of the PMNSCM, presentation to the committee on June 16, 1999. 13 Stone & Webster information paper briefed to the committee on October 14, 1999. FIGURE 1-1 Main chemical warfare agents in the U.S. inventory. SOURCE: NRC (1994).
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TABLE 1-1 Inventory of Non-Stockpile Items at Pine Bluff Arsenal, Pine Bluff, Arkansas Chemical Fill Item H/MD/HN/HS/HT GA/GB/GD VX DM/L CG/CK DF QL Other Total No. of Items Munition Explosive 4.2-inch mortar round 727 2 1 730 75-mm projectile 16 16 200-mm Livens projectile 12 3 15 155-mm projectile 1 1 105-mm projectile 1 1 M70A1 bomb (poss. explosive) 9 9 150-mm Traktor rocket/warhead (HN-3) 479 479 Nonexplosive 75-mm projectile 3 3 Subtotal 1,248 2 4 1,254 Chemical sample containera Ton container 2 2 4-inch cylinder 1 1 Lab sample container 2 2 Vial (L) 1 1 Subtotal 2 2 2 6 Chemical agent ID set (CAIS) Mustard (H/HD/HS) 5,764 5,764 Nitrogen mustard (HN-1 and -3) 50 50 Lewisite (L) 397 397 Chloropicrin (PS) 396 396 Phosgene (CG) 396 396 Chloroacetophenone (CN) 17 17 Adamsite (DM) 17 17 Triphosgene (TP) 17 17 Cyanogen chloride (CK) 33 33 Diethyl malonate, etc. (GS) 33 33 Subtotal 5,814 414 429 463 7,120 Binary agent precursor M20 56,820 56,820 Drum 7 293 300 Box, container, can 3 3 Subtotal 56,827 296 57,123 Empty ton containerb 4,375 4,375 Total 7,063 2 2 4,789 433 56,827 296 463 69,878 aInventory consists of individual CAIS items, not complete CAIS. bSampling of some of these containers indicated that they may be contaminated with lewisite, arsenic, and/or mercury. SOURCE: Provided to the committee by PMNSCM on July 10, 2001.
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TABLE 1-2 Inventory of Non-Stockpile Items at Dugway Proving Ground (DPG) and Deseret Chemical Depot (DCD), Utaha Chemical Fill Item Location H/HD/HN/HT/HS GA/GB/GD Lewisite VX/Vx Total No. of Items Munitions Explosive 4.2-inch mortar round DPG 10 12b 22 105-mm projectile DPG 2 4b 6 155-mm projectile DPG 1 1 T77 155-mm projectile DPG 1 1 6-inch projectile DPG 1 1 M-125 bomblet DPG 1 1 Nonexplosive 155 mm (1 empty but contaminated) DPG 2 2 4.2-inch mortar round DPG 2 2 M-139 half bomblet DPG 1 1 Subtotal 14 7 16 37 Chemical sample containers Ton container DCD 1 1 Container, bottle, vial DPG 8c 48d 1b 28 85 Bottle (VX (EA-1699)) DPG 5 5 Container (39 HD, 5 HT) DCD 45 45 Ampoule DCD 1 1 Subtotal 54 49 1 33 137 Total 68 56 17 33 174 aDoes not include CAIS items. bDetermined not to be compatible with processing in TOCDF. c6 HD, 2 HT. d39 GB, 9 GD. SOURCE: Provided to the committee by PMNSCM on July 10, 2001. nitions currently stored at the four military sites in the United States that have the largest inventories of non-stockpile materiel.14 According to the CWC, these recovered items must be destroyed by April 29, 2007. About 85 percent of all recovered CWM in the United States is stored at Pine Bluff Arsenal, in Arkansas (Table 1-1); smaller quantities are stored at Dugway Proving Ground, in Utah (Table 1-2), Aberdeen Proving Ground, in Maryland (Table 1-3) and Anniston Army Depot, in Alabama (Table 1-4). These four sites, as well as another three sites whose non-stockpile inventory totals 21 items, are addressed in further detail in Appendix D. Many more chemical munitions will be recovered at burial sites as current and former artillery ranges around the country are remediated. Whether the munitions recovered to date are representative of those that will be recovered in the future is an open question. A brief description of each category of NSCWM follows. Buried CWM This is the most challenging and, at the same time, the most uncertain category. As noted, the Army has identified potential NSCWM burial sites in 31 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In addition, potential overseas chemical weapons burial sites have been identified, but their locations are classified. Under the CWC, a state-party that has abandoned chemical weapons on the territory of another state-party has the responsibility for their removal and disposal (U.S. Army, 1996). Burial sites are grouped in four categories: CAIS only; small quantity, nonexplosive (fewer than 1,000 items, agent 14 Christopher Ross, PMNSCM, presentation to the committee on July 10, 2001.
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TABLE 1-3 Inventory of Non-Stockpile Items at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland Chemical Fill Item HD/HT/HS GB/GA/GD VX Lewisite CG Total Munitions Explosive 75-mm projectile 6 6 4.2-inch mortar 1 1 2 Nonexplosive 4-inch Stokes mortar 2 2 Subtotal 9 1 10 Chemical sample containers 55-gallon drum (pumpkins) 11 11 30-gallon bucket (pumpkins) 5 5 5 15 5-gallon bucket (steel cylinders) 20 20 5-pint can (vials or bottles) 3 23 26 Screw-top can (vials or bottles) 7 7 Steel cylinder 12 12 Multipack bottles, vials 6 10 16 DOT bottle 6 6 Ton container 2 2 Subtotal 19 25 61 10 115 Total 28 25 61 10 1 125 SOURCE: Provided to the committee by PMNSCM on July 10, 2001. TABLE 1-4 Inventory of Non-Stockpile Items at Anniston Chemical Activity, Alabama Chemical Fill Item HD/HT GB VX Total Chemical sample containers Vial 119 119 DOT bottle 5 7 12 Ton container 2 2 Total 5 121 7 133 SOURCE: Provided to the committee by PMNSCM on July 10, 2001. present but no energetics); small quantity explosive (fewer than 1,000 items, agent and energetics); and large quantity (more than 1,000 items, including items configured both with and without energetics). Excluding sites at which no further action is required, estimates are that large-quantity sites make up 4 percent of all sites, small-quantity explosive sites make up 53 percent, small-quantity nonexplosive sites make up 32 percent, and CAIS-only sites make up 11 percent of the sites. The largest burial site is believed to be the old “O” field in Edgewood, Maryland; large sites also exist at Tooele Army Depot, Utah; Rocky Mountain Arsenal, Colorado; and Redstone Arsenal, Alabama (U.S. Army, 1996).15 A major uncertainty for the non-stockpile program is the extent to which suspected burial sites will be excavated and what items will be found and recovered. Remediation efforts are under way or planned at the following sites: former Camp 15 No data are available on the percentages of the total non-stock-pile inventory located at each type of site.
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Sibert, Alabama; Fort McClellan, Alabama; former Santa Rosa Army Air Field, California; Spring Valley, Washington, D.C.; former Brooksville Army Air Field, Florida; England Air Force Base, Louisiana; Lauderick Creek, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland; former Defense Depot, Memphis, Tennessee; Ogden Depot, Utah; former Lauringburg-Maxon Army Air Field, North Carolina; former Fort Segarra, U.S. Virgin Islands; and Camp Bullis, Texas. Remediation efforts at these sites are highly dependent on the availability of mobile treatment systems or sites that can receive and store the recovered NSCWM (or secondary wastes) prior to final disposal. Remediation at other sites is expected to be planned and initiated. Because public stakeholder groups at potential recipient sites are very concerned about becoming “dumping grounds” for the nation’s recovered NSCWM, the availability of such sites in the future remains uncertain (see Chapter 5). Since in any case the number of sites that can receive and store NSCWM prior to disposal is limited, a key solution is the development of transportable treatment systems that can be moved to a recovery site, used to treat the recovered chemical warfare materiel (RCWM), and then dismantled and moved to another site. Binary Chemical Warfare Materiel Components Binary weapons were developed in the 1980s to replace the aging stockpile of unitary chemical weapons. Two binary munitions were investigated, using two sets of agent precursors: the chemical QL, which could be reacted with powdered sulfur to produce the nerve agent VX, and the chemical DF, which could be reacted with a nonlethal solution, OPA (isopropyl alcohol with isopropylamine), to form the nerve agent GB (sarin). The only binary weapon system to reach full-scale production was the M-687 155-mm artillery projectile. The DF and OPA were stored separately until the projectile was to be fired, at which time a canister of DF was loaded into the round already containing a canister of OPA. The shock of firing the round ruptured the barrier between the chemicals, while the spin mixed the chemicals and facilitated their reaction on the way to the target. The M-687 projectiles and the OPA canisters were stored at Umatilla Chemical Depot, in Oregon, and they had all been destroyed by March 1999 (U.S. Army, 1999a). As indicated in Table 1-1, almost 57,000 canisters and 7 drums of DF, as well as 293 drums of QL, are still stored at Pine Bluff Arsenal, Arkansas.16 Miscellaneous quantities of DF and QL stored at Aberdeen Proving Ground have been destroyed.17 Recovered Chemical Warfare Materiel CWM items retrieved from range-clearing operations, research and test sites, and burial sites are classified as recovered chemical warfare materiel (RCWM).18 Of the more than 7,000 RCWM items recovered to date, more than 5,400 are CAIS sets or CAIS components. Because CAIS items were used for training for defense against chemical attack, the CWC does not require their disposal; however, the Army has decided to destroy them along with the other non-stockpile items (NRC, 1999a). Virtually all recovered NSCWM in the United States is stored at stockpile sites.19 The only exceptions are moderate quantities of CAIS stored in places such as Fort Richardson, Alaska, and Camp Bullis, Texas. This coincidence naturally suggests the possibility of destroying the stored RCWM in stockpile disposal facilities. Most of the remaining recovered non-stockpile munitions (about 1,250)—by far the most difficult type of RCWM to dispose of—are stored at Pine Bluff, Arkansas (see Table 1-1).20 These munitions are currently being analyzed to determine the type of agent and energetics contained. Small numbers of non-stockpile munitions, including RCWM, are also stored at Dugway Proving Ground, Utah (37 items) (Table 1-2) and Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland (10 items) (Table 1-3). Former CWM Production Facilities The CWC requires that all former CWM production facilities constructed or used after January 1, 1946, be destroyed. The United States has declared 13 former production facilities in seven states under the CWC, although NSCMP does not have exclusive responsibility for destroying all of these (U.S. Army, 1996). NSCMP has made substantial progress in destroying the facilities for which it is responsible. Miscellaneous CWM Miscellaneous CWM includes the following: items designed specifically for conducting chemical warfare, such as unfilled munitions, empty rocket warheads, fuzes and bursters designed for chemical munitions, and simulant-filled munitions chemical samples transferred from leaking or suspect munitions to safer storage containers 16 Christopher Ross, PMNSCM, presentation to the committee on July 10, 2001. 17 Bill Brankowitz, Office of the PMNSCM, presentation to the committee on January 22, 2001. 18 RCWM is defined by Army Regulation (AR) 50-6. See Chapter 5 for details. 19 Stored RCWM also includes chemical samples, see below. 20 RCWM recovered from other sites (e.g., the Spring Valley site in Washington, D.C.) has, in most cases, been shipped to Pine Bluff Arsenal for storage.
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ton containers, now empty, in which chemical warfare agents were previously stored or shipped research, development, test, and evaluation (RDT&E) CWM used for the development of CW The CWC requires disposal of the first two groups of miscellaneous materiel (Blackwood, 1998). The ton containers are not controlled by the CWC because they are used to store commercial chemicals as well as chemical warfare agents. While the Army currently lists no items in the RDT&E group, it may reclassify some chemical sample materiel as RDT&E for future chemical defense research allowed by the CWC (Blackwood, 1998). The Army appears to be making good progress in destroying unfilled chemical munition components and empty ton containers. For this reason, the only type of miscellaneous CWM considered in this report is the chemical samples. These are stored at stockpile sites in a wide variety of containers, from ton containers to glass vials; they contain a variety of chemical agents. Systems for Destroying NSCWM The Army has developed a mix of semi-permanent21 facilities and mobile systems to meet its obligations under the CWC to destroy all recovered NSCWM by 2007. Before the systems can be operated, however, the Army must establish their technical effectiveness and safety, obtain the necessary regulatory approvals for operation at each site where NSCWM is located, and provide opportunities for the various public stakeholder groups to be involved in the decision-making process. Facilities As noted earlier, Congress has relaxed its former prohibition on the use of stockpile facilities to destroy NSCWM, provided that their use is acceptable to the states in which the facilities are located. These facilities will be in operation until at least 2007 and may now be considered as an option for destroying NSCWM that is co-located at the facilities or that can be safely transported to them. In addition to the stockpile facilities, two experimental facilities have long been used to destroy a variety of chemical agents by chemical neutralization: the Chemical Transfer Facility (CTF) at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, and the Chemical Agent Munitions Disposal System (CAMDS), at the Deseret Chemical Depot, Utah. Although these are R&D facilities and therefore may not be used on a routine basis to destroy NSCWM, they might be considered as an option to destroy limited numbers of non-stockpile items that contain unusual chemical fills or have a configuration that cannot be handled by other systems. At some sites where large numbers (hundreds or thousands) of NSCWM items are stored or expected to be recovered, the Army plans to build facilities that will have a higher processing capacity than mobile systems. At this writing, construction of one such facility, the Munitions Assessment and Processing System (MAPS) at Aberdeen Proving Ground, was under way. A second, the Pine Bluff Non-Stockpile Facility (PBNSF) at Pine Bluff Arsenal, Arkansas, was entering its final design phase. Each of these facilities will use an array of technologies to destroy the non-stockpile chemical agents. Mobile Destruction Systems Because a large number of locations are expected to have only a small quantity of NSCWM, the Army has been particularly interested in developing transportable disposal systems that can be taken from site to site as needed. To treat the diversity of NSCWM (e.g., munitions containing a variety of chemical agents, some configured with explosives and some without), the Army possesses two transportable systems, the Rapid Response System (RRS) and the Explosive Destruction System (EDS). The RRS is designed to treat chemical agent identification sets (CAIS), test kits used from 1928 to 1969 to train soldiers to identify chemical agents in the field. CAIS contain mustard and lewisite, as well as a variety of toxic industrial chemicals22 (NRC, 1999a). The EDS is designed to destroy explosively configured non-stockpile munitions up to 155-mm projectiles or 8-inch World War I chemical projectiles. Small numbers of nonexplosively configured munitions or containers could also be destroyed in the EDS, although larger numbers or larger sizes of such containers would be expected to be processed in the facilities discussed above—that is, MAPS and PBNSF. These systems, which can be mounted on a series of trailers, are designed to be transported to a site where the chemical materiel is located and then packed up and moved to another site upon completion of the treatment campaign. They use chemical neutralization processes to treat chemical agents; secondary waste from the neutralization process can 21 The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers defines semi-permanent facilities as having a life expectancy of from 5 to 25 years. For the purposes of this report, the term “facilities” refers to semi-permanent facilities. 22 In keeping with Army practice, all chemicals used as CWMs other than the nerve agents (e.g., VX and GB) and blister agents (e.g., HD and L) are referred to as “toxic industrial chemicals.” This includes choking agents (e.g., phosgene or CG), vomiting agents (e.g., adamsite, or DM), and lachrymators (e.g., chloropicrin (CS) and choroacetophenone (CN)). In most instances in this report, the term “chemical agents” is restricted to the nerve and blister agents.
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be treated further on-site or shipped to an off-site treatment facility. STATEMENT OF TASK The Army has available, or is in the process of developing, a number of alternative systems for addressing the many contingencies it faces in its task of destroying the diverse categories of NSCWM located at many different sites. To date, however, there has been little integrated review of the technical operational plans for these systems—how they fit together as an integrated toolbox and how their capabilities match the task to be accomplished. Equally important, there has been little review of the Army’s plans for obtaining regulatory approvals to use these systems in the many states in which it must operate, and for providing opportunities for public involvement in the decision-making process so that the NSCWM can be destroyed in a timely way. Accordingly, on March 16, 2001, the PMNSCM requested that the National Research Council undertake such a review. The statement of task is as follows: To help optimize the technical performance, as well as the regulatory approval and public acceptance processes, of the Non-stockpile Chemical Materiel Disposal program, the NRC will: Evaluate mobile destruction systems and semi-permanent facilities being used or considered by the Army’s Non-stockpile product manager for the treatment of non-stockpile CWM and make recommendations on the systems and facilities that could be employed by the Army and their interrelationships. This analysis will specifically include consideration of issues and opportunities associated with the Explosive Destruction System (EDS), the Rapid Response System (RRS), the Munitions Assessment and Processing System (MAPS), the Pine Bluff Non-stockpile Facility (PBNSF), alternative treatments for neat chemicals, and selected aspects of the stockpile facilities. Review and evaluate the issues and obstacles associated with the environmental regulatory approval process for successful employment of Non-stockpile Chemical Materiel disposal systems (mobile and semi-permanent) that the Army may encounter during its management of the Non-stockpile Program and offer recommendations that may make the regulatory approval process more efficient while reducing schedule risk. Recommend areas in which further detailed study efforts would be particularly useful to the Product Manager. THE COMMITTEE’S APPROACH The committee focused its attention primarily on the mobile treatment systems (the EDS and the RRS) and the individual treatment technologies that will eventually be components of the MAPS and PBNSF, and on NSCMP’s operational plans for deploying these facilities and systems to destroy recovered NSCWM before April 29, 2007, in accordance with the CWC. The potential role of the stockpile facilities in destroying NSCWM was also reviewed. The committee paid particular attention to technical issues but also considered operational plans and schedules in light of the regulatory and public involvement challenges that they will face. The Army has prepared assessments of the potential health and environmental impacts of its transportable treatment systems (U.S. Army, 2001a), including risks during normal operations and from accidental release of hazardous substances. Similar site-specific assessments are generally required of the Army’s treatment facilities as part of the permitting process. The committee did not review the specific methodology or the regulatory assumptions used by the Army in assessing these health and environmental impacts, because the overall risk assessment methodologies are of the kind typically used in U.S. regulatory and permitting programs. SCOPE OF THE REPORT The Army appears to be making excellent progress in destroying several categories of NSCWM, such as old production facilities, empty ton containers, and unfilled CWM delivery systems. For this reason, these categories of NSCWM are not discussed in this report, which instead focuses on the several subcategories of NSCWM whose destruction poses the greatest challenges: chemical munitions, binary CWM components, chemical samples, and CAIS. Destruction of the secondary waste streams generated in the treatment of these NSCWM is considered along with the primary treatment. STRUCTURE OF THE REPORT This chapter described the non-stockpile inventory, which comprises a greater variety of chemical agents than the stockpile inventory. It includes blister, nerve, blood, and choking agents, as well as militarized industrial chemicals and binary agents, and its condition is highly variable—some items, for instance, have severely deteriorated during decades of burial. In Chapter 2, the committee assesses the tools, or specific options, available to PMNSCM to safely destroy these items. These tools, which include facilities, mobile treatment systems, and individual treatment technologies, are evaluated from the standpoint of their current status and technical, RAP, and public involvement issues. In Chapter 3, the committee matches the treatment options with the materiel or munitions to be treated, identifies gaps in the program, and makes recommendations on the facilities, systems, and technologies. Chapter 4 examines RAP issues for waste management and identifies issues that, when resolved, will facilitate the RAP process in the future. Chapter 5 commends PMNSCM for its increased openness in providing information to a range of stakeholders and in developing relationships with them and notes areas that might be improved. Throughout the report, findings and recommendations follow the relevant discussion.
Representative terms from entire chapter: