Umatilla destroys 75 percent of its mustard agent containers

The Umatilla Chemical Agent Disposal Facility in Umatilla, Ore., has destroyed 75 percent of the mustard ton containers that have been stored at the Umatilla Chemical Depot.

The incineration plant destroyed its 1,976th container of mustard chemical weapon agent on Tuesday. This leaves 659 containers remaining. The depot has already destroyed nerve agent once stored at the facility, the Tri-City Herald reports.

The last of the chemical weapon agents stored at the depot are expected to be destroyed in November.

The Umatilla Chemical Depot is one of five Army installations in the United States that currently stores chemical weapons, according to the U.S. Army. It originally opened in 1941 with a mission to store and maintain a variety of military items. In 1962, the mission changed to include the safe storage of chemical weapons, according to the Tri-City Herald. Approximately 12 percent of the nation’s original chemical weapons have been stored at the facility since 1962.

The Umatilla Chemical Agent Disposal Facility was designed to destroy the chemical weapons stored at the Umatilla Chemical Depot. It was completed in 2001 and the Army began disposing of the weapons in 2004. Weapons are destroyed using high-temperature incineration technology, which is the technology that has been used to safely and successfully dispose of over half the nation’s original chemical weapon supply.