Umatilla depot to increase weapons destruction rate

The incineration facility at the Umatilla Chemical Depot has been given approval by the state of Oregon to increase its processing rate from 75 percent to 100 percent.

Gary Anderson, the Army's site project manager for the plant, told that, as a result of the processing rate increase, the Umatilla Chemical Disposal Facility is expected to be able to finish destroying its remaining 1,200 tons of chemical warfare agent with a year.

The depot has already destroyed all of the nerve agent it had stored, leaving only chemical mustard agent to be destroyed. Work on the destruction of the chemical mustard agent began in June 2009, reports. As of November, the depot had destroyed approximately one-quarter of its 4.7 million pounds of mustard agent.

The depot had destroyed half of its stockpile of chemical agents by August, reports, and in October, a second milestone was reached when the depot destroyed a total of 5 million pounds of chemical weapons.

The weapons destruction must be completed by April 29, 2012, for the United States to be in compliance with a weapons destruction treaty.

The Anniston Chemical Disposal Facility at the Anniston Army Depot in Alabama also recently announced that it had finished its mustard-filled mortar disposal campaign.