Weapons destruction winding down at Deseret Chemical Depot

Government leaders in Utah's Tooele County are preparing for the impending closure of the U.S. Army's Deseret Chemical Depot, which should complete its job of incinerating weapons by February.
The plant was built to obliterate chemical weapons that were stockpiled at Tooele Army Depot since World War II. The Deseret Chemical Depot, built to destroy Tooele's munitions, held more than 43 percent of the nation's stockpile and was one of the first of six sites to begin destruction, the Salt Lake Tribune reports.
The depot should be able to complete the destruction job by the April 29 deadline that was set by a treaty between 188 nations to rid the world of chemical weapons. The first layoffs at the plant will begin between January and March when 100 employees of URS Corp. will leave. It will be mid-2014 before the last employees at the plant lose their jobs.
The loss of depot employees may hurt the economy in the area.
"It's hurting a lot of people, and it's going to hurt a lot more," Bill Moss, a local water well driller, said, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. "Nobody's building out here because everyone's leaving. There are houses all over for sale."
When the Tooele Army Depot faced a partial closure 18 years earlier, the city of Tooele created the Utah Industrial Depot, which attracted businesses such as Carlisle SynTec Inc., Hunter Panels and Detroit Diesel. Government officials are remaining somewhat optimistic that they can rebound from the depot's impending closure.
"We're working to make lemonade out of this thing." Nicole Cline, the Toole County economic development director, said, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.