Umatilla Chemical Agent Disposal Facility using new rinsate collection system

The Umatilla Chemical Agent Disposal Facility in Hermiston, Oregon, has begun use of the Rinsate Collection System, which uses an improved process allowing for more efficient incinerator use for the destruction of HD mustard agent.

The HD ton containers usually contain a solidified residue that remains after draining the liquid chemical agent that is then removed using high pressure hot water. This residue, called rinsate, is fed to a metal parts furnace in previously used TCs to reduce the throughput of stockpile ton containers that could be treated in the furnace each day.

“We are one step closer to fulfilling our Chemical Weapons Convention Treaty obligations well ahead of the April 2012 deadline,” Gary Anderson, site project manager for the Umatilla Chemical Agent Disposal Facility, said. “The successful implementation of this unique system is the result of outstanding efforts on the part of our design, installation and operations teams.”

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality granted a modification of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Permit in March to allow rinsate to be processed through a liquid incinerator. Installation began in October 2010.

“Our workers are eager to begin operation of the rinsate system, which will safely speed up the process of getting rid of the remaining ton containers of mustard at Umatilla,” Steve Warren, project general manager for URS, the company that built and operates the plant, said. “The safety of our workers and the public remains our top priority.”

The Rinsate Collection System consists of a series of self-cleaning pumps, filters, piping, valves and storage tanks allowing for rinsate to be processed in one of the two available liquid incinerators. This reduces how much material is treated in the metal parts furnace. The UMCDF anticipates the destruction of the last mustard agent by November.