Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.
Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.
OCR for page 5
Evaluation of Safety and Environmental Metrics for Potential Application at Chemical Agent Disposal Facilities 1 Introduction CHEMICAL WEAPONS STOCKPILE For more than 50 years the United States has maintained an extensive stockpile of chemical weapons stored primarily in military depots across in the continental United States. Largely manufactured 40 or more years ago, the chemical agents and associated weapons in this stockpile are now obsolete. The stockpile contains two types of chemical agents: cholinesterase-inhibiting nerve agents (GB and VX) and blister agents, primarily mustard (H, HD, and HT) but also a small amount of lewisite. These chemical agents, which are liquids at room temperature and normal pressures, are frequently and erroneously referred to as gases. Also included in the chemical weapons stockpile are bulk (“ton”) containers and munitions. Types of munitions include rockets, mines, bombs, projectiles, and spray tanks. Many munitions contain chemical agent and energetic materials (propellants and/or explosives), a combination whose safe and efficient destruction poses particular challenges. Information on the location, size, and composition of the original continental U.S. stockpile is presented in Figure 1-1. CHEMICAL WEAPONS DISPOSAL PROGRAM The disposal of the chemical weapons stockpile is a major undertaking. In 1990, the stockpile included approximately 30,000 tons of chemical agents stored at eight chemical weapons depots operated by the Army in the continental United States. In 1985, under a congressional mandate (Public Law 99-145), the Army instituted a sustained program to destroy elements of the chemical weapons stockpile. In 1992, when Congress enacted Public Law 102-484, the Army extended this program to destroy the entire stockpile. Chemical weapons stored overseas were collected at Johnston Island, southwest of Hawaii, and destroyed at the Johnston Atoll Chemical Agent Disposal System (JACADS), the first operational chemical agent disposal facility (CDF). JACADS began destruction activities in 1990 and completed processing of the 2,031 tons of chemical agent and the associated 412,732 munitions and containers in the overseas stockpile in November 2000 (U.S. Army, 2001). The largest share of the original continental U.S. stockpile (13,616 tons of agent) has been stored at the Deseret Chemical Depot near Tooele, Utah. This component of the stockpile is being processed by the Tooele Chemical Agent Disposal Facility. Other disposal facilities—at Aberdeen, Maryland; Anniston, Alabama; Pine Bluff, Arkansas; Newport, Indiana; and Umatilla, Oregon—began destruction operations later and have collectively destroyed more than 55 percent of the original stockpile. At two sites, the Blue Grass Army Depot near Richmond, Kentucky, and the Pueblo Chemical Depot near Pueblo, Colorado, facility construction has only just begun and destruction operations have not yet started. Like JACADS, CDFs at two more sites—Aberdeen, Maryland, and Newport, Indiana—have completed their missions. The JACADS
OCR for page 6
Evaluation of Safety and Environmental Metrics for Potential Application at Chemical Agent Disposal Facilities FIGURE 1-1 Location, size (percentage of the original stockpile), and composition of the eight continental U.S. storage sites. SOURCE: OTA, 1992. and Aberdeen facilities have completed closure, and the Newport facility is entering closure. SAFETY CHALLENGE When Congress mandated the destruction of the chemical weapons stockpile, it specified that destruction operations must afford maximum protection to the workers, the public, and the environment. In the initial years of disposal operations the National Research Council’s Committee on Review and Evaluation of the Army Chemical Stockpile Disposal Program, in its reports, repeatedly encouraged the Army and its contractors to pay attention to safety and to engage in continuous improvement.1 The Army and its contractors have responded to this encouragement, and, at the time of this writing, the five CDFs that are still operating have achieved recordable injury rates of about 1, compared with about 0.5 for the best industrial companies. The Army has expressed a desire and an intent to attain safety performance that equals or surpasses the performance of the best industrial companies. To help it reach this goal, the Army asked the National Research Council to review and evaluate the safety and environmental metrics employed at the operating facilities and, if necessary, to recommend additional metrics and/or program modifications. STATEMENT OF TASK The National Research Council will establish an ad hoc committee to: review and evaluate existing safety and environmental metrics employed at CMA facilities, examine commercial and industrial operations for potentially applicable safety and environmental metrics, and assess new initiatives at national organizations (i.e., National Safety Council, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, etc.) that could be used by CMA. 1 In 2006, the Committee on Review and Evaluation of the Army Chemical Stockpile Disposal Program was replaced with the current Committee on Chemical Stockpile Demilitarization.
OCR for page 7
Evaluation of Safety and Environmental Metrics for Potential Application at Chemical Agent Disposal Facilities THE COMMITTEE, REPORT SCOPE, AND PROCESS As is apparent from the statement of task, the committee was limited to considering safety and environmental metrics at the currently operating CDFs and the one that has entered closure. It does not address safety and environmental metrics at chemical stockpile storage sites, nor does it directly address population safety. Accordingly, a committee with very specific expertise was nominated to undertake this task (see Appendix D for biographical sketches of the committee members). Two meetings were approved for this study. Consequently, the individual committee members needed to expend considerable effort between meetings. The first meeting was devoted to gathering information. The operating CDFs reported to the committee on the metrics they employ in managing their respective safety and environmental compliance programs and on the current status of these programs. Also, Chemical Materials Agency personnel provided a programmatic perspective on safety and environmental performance. A substantial portion of the reporting at the first meeting was done by videoconference. The situation at each facility as well as agency-wide is presented in Chapter 2. After it had gathered the information for each facility, the committee analyzed the metrics and the manner in which they are used. The second meeting of the committee focused on this analysis and considered other metrics that might be employed by the various facilities. Committee deliberations were completed by means of a virtual meeting, wherein members talked via a teleconference and were able to view the report in real time on their computer screens. Chapters 3 and 4 present the committee’s analysis, and Chapter 5 presents its findings and recommendations. The committee completed data gathering on October 31, 2008. A glossary of selected terms used in this report can be found in Appendix A. This glossary is intended only to clarify the meaning of a number of the terms in this report. It is not intended to create any definitions for adoption by the Chemical Materials Agency or the CDFs. The reader can also find a list of the acronyms used in this report immediately following the listing of tables and figures in the front matter of this report. REFERENCES OTA (Office of Technology Assessment). 1992. Disposal of Chemical Weapons: An Analysis of Alternatives to Incineration. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office. U.S. Army. 2001. Status of Agent Destruction at JACADS and TOCDF, 5 September. Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.: Program Manager for Chemical Demilitarization.