Umatilla Chemical Disposal Facility to begin using rinsate collection system

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality recently approved a permit modification for the Umatilla Chemical Disposal Facility that will allow workers to begin using a recently installed rinsate collection system.

Rinsate is the residue that forms at the bottom of aging solid mustard agent storage tanks. The DEQ’s permit modification will allow workers to collect the rinsate in tanks and to treat it in liquid incinerators, skipping a normal step in the process, according to

“The new rinsate collection system provides the U.S. Army and our contractors another tool to ensure the United States achieves the Chemical Weapons Convention Treaty date of April 2012,” Gary Anderson, the site project manager for the Umatilla Chemical Agent Disposal Facility, said, according to

Hal McCune, the protocol manager for the demilitarization contractor URS Corp., said that the new system will be fully tested before its use. Until then, workers will continue to drain the rinsate into one or more recipient ton containers that are then shipped to a metal parts furnace where they are incinerated.

“Installation and testing of the rinsate system has been ongoing under a temporary authorization request approved by the Oregon DEQ on Oct. 1, 2010,” Steve Warren, the project manager for the URS system contractor, said, reports. “The team of professionals who designed, fabricated and installed the systems have done an outstanding job of getting the critical system ready to operate.”

The rinsate system is expected to be operational in April.