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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



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1 introduction chemical WeaPoNs sTockPile In 1985, under a congressional mandate (Public Law 99-145), the Army instituted a sustained program to For more than 50 years the United States has main- destroy elements of the chemical weapons stockpile. tained an extensive stockpile of chemical weapons In 1992, when Congress enacted Public Law 102-484, stored primarily in military depots across in the conti- the Army extended this program to destroy the entire nental United States. Largely manufactured 40 or more stockpile. years ago, the chemical agents and associated weapons Chemical weapons stored overseas were collected in this stockpile are now obsolete. at Johnston Island, southwest of Hawaii, and destroyed The stockpile contains two types of chemical agents: at the Johnston Atoll Chemical Agent Disposal System cholinesterase-inhibiting nerve agents (GB and VX) (JACADS), the first operational chemical agent dis- and blister agents, primarily mustard (H, HD, and HT) posal facility (CDF). JACADS began destruction activi- but also a small amount of lewisite. These chemical ties in 1990 and completed processing of the 2,031 tons agents, which are liquids at room temperature and of chemical agent and the associated 412,732 munitions n ormal pressures, are frequently and erroneously and containers in the overseas stockpile in November referred to as gases. Also included in the chemical 2000 (U.S. Army, 2001). weapons stockpile are bulk (“ton”) containers and The largest share of the original continental U.S. munitions. Types of munitions include rockets, mines, stockpile (13,616 tons of agent) has been stored at bombs, projectiles, and spray tanks. Many munitions the Deseret Chemical Depot near Tooele, Utah. This contain chemical agent and energetic materials (pro- component of the stockpile is being processed by the pellants and/or explosives), a combination whose safe Tooele Chemical Agent Disposal Facility. and efficient destruction poses particular challenges. Other disposal facilities—at Aberdeen, Maryland; Information on the location, size, and composition of Anniston, Alabama; Pine Bluff, Arkansas; Newport, the original continental U.S. stockpile is presented in Indiana; and Umatilla, Oregon—began destruction Figure 1-1. operations later and have collectively destroyed more than 55 percent of the original stockpile. At two sites, chemical WeaPoNs disPosal Program the Blue Grass Army Depot near Richmond, Kentucky, and the Pueblo Chemical Depot near Pueblo, Colorado, The disposal of the chemical weapons stockpile is facility construction has only just begun and destruction a major undertaking. In 1990, the stockpile included operations have not yet started. Like JACADS, CDFs approximately 30,000 tons of chemical agents stored at at two more sites—Aberdeen, Maryland, and Newport, eight chemical weapons depots operated by the Army Indiana—have completed their missions. The JACADS in the continental United States. 

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risk1-1  EVALuATiON OF SAFETy ANd ENViRONmENTAL mETRiCS Newport Chemical Activity Umatilla Chemical VX -TC Depot (4.2%) HD-TC GB - P, R, B Edgewood VX - P, R, M, Chemical ST Activity (12.2%) HD - TC (5.3%) Deseret Chemical Depot Blue Grass H-P; HT - C, Chemical HD - C, TC Activity GB - C, P, R, B, TC HD - P VX - P, R, M,ST GB - P, R GA - TC VX - P, R (44.5%) (1.7%) Pueblo Depot Anniston Activity Chemical HD - C, P Activity Pine Bluff HT - C HD - C, P, TC Chemical Activity (8.5%) HT - C HD -TC GB - C, P, R HT - TC VX - P, R, M GA, GB, VX, H, HD, HT = Chemical agent GB - R (7.4%) VX - R, M TC = Ton container B = Bombs (12.6%) R = Rockets C = Cartridges M = Mines P = Projectiles ST = Spray Tanks 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 about 0.5 for the best industrial companies. The Army Newport facility is entering closure. 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 saFeTy challeNge goal, the Army asked the National Research Council When Congress mandated the destruction of the to review and evaluate the safety and environmental chemical weapons stockpile, it specified that destruc- metrics employed at the operating facilities and, if tion operations must afford maximum protection to the necessary, to recommend additional metrics and/or workers, the public, and the environment. In the initial program modifications. years of disposal operations the National Research Council’s Committee on Review and Evaluation of sTaTemeNT oF Task the Army Chemical Stockpile Disposal Program, in its reports, repeatedly encouraged the Army and its The National Research Council will establish an ad contractors to pay attention to safety and to engage in hoc committee to: continuous improvement. • eview and evaluate existing safety and environmental r The Army and its contractors have responded to metrics employed at CMA facilities, this encouragement, and, at the time of this writing, • xamine commercial and industrial operations for poten- e tially applicable safety and environmental metrics, and the five CDFs that are still operating have achieved • ssess new initiatives at national organizations (i.e., Na- a recordable injury rates of about 1, compared with tional Safety Council, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, etc.) that could be used by CMA. 1In 2006, the Committee on Review and Evaluation of the Army Chemical Stockpile Disposal Program was replaced with the current Committee on Chemical Stockpile Demilitarization.

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 iNTROduCTiON The commiTTee, rePorT scoPe, aNd ity, the committee analyzed the metrics and the man- Process ner in which they are used. The second meeting of the committee focused on this analysis and considered As is apparent from the statement of task, the com- other metrics that might be employed by the various mittee was limited to considering safety and environ- facilities. Committee deliberations were completed by mental metrics at the currently operating CDFs and the means of a virtual meeting, wherein members talked one that has entered closure. It does not address safety via a teleconference and were able to view the report and environmental metrics at chemical stockpile stor- in real time on their computer screens. Chapters 3 and age sites, nor does it directly address population safety. 4 present the committee’s analysis, and Chapter 5 pres- Accordingly, a committee with very specific expertise ents its findings and recommendations. The committee was nominated to undertake this task (see Appendix D completed data gathering on October 31, 2008. A glos- for biographical sketches of the committee members). sary of selected terms used in this report can be found Two meetings were approved for this study. Con- in Appendix A. This glossary is intended only to clarify sequently, the individual committee members needed the meaning of a number of the terms in this report. It to expend considerable effort between meetings. The is not intended to create any definitions for adoption first meeting was devoted to gathering information. by the Chemical Materials Agency or the CDFs. The The operating CDFs reported to the committee on reader can also find a list of the acronyms used in this the metrics they employ in managing their respective report immediately following the listing of tables and safety and environmental compliance programs and on figures in the front matter of this report. the current status of these programs. Also, Chemical Materials Agency personnel provided a programmatic reFereNces perspective on safety and environmental performance. A substantial portion of the reporting at the first meet- OTA (Office of Technology Assessment). 1992. Disposal of Chemical ing was done by videoconference. The situation at Weapons: An Analysis of Alternatives to Incineration. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office. each facility as well as agency-wide is presented in U.S. Army. 2001. Status of Agent Destruction at JACADS and TOCDF, Chapter 2. 5 September. Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.: Program Manager for After it had gathered the information for each facil- Chemical Demilitarization.