Umatilla Chemical Weapons Depot reaches milestone

The Umatilla Chemical Weapons Depot in Umatilla, Oregon, recently announced that it has destroyed all but 1,000 containers of mustard weapons agent.

Umatilla destroyed its 1,635th ton container filled with mustard agent on May 5, reports.

The Umatilla Chemical Agent Disposal Facility said that the destroyed weapons represent 62 percent of its mustard ton containers and 99.5 percent of its total chemical stockpile. The nerve agent stored at the Umatilla depot has already been destroyed.

“We are systematically and safely processing ton containers 24 hours a day and the numbers of remaining (containers) are steadily shrinking,” Steve Warren, a project general manager for URS, the company that built and operates the plant, said in a statement, according to

The last remaining chemical weapons are slated for destruction in November.

The disposal facility began destroying chemical weapon agents in fall 2004 and began working on the destruction of mustard agent in 2009.

Umatilla began by incinerating GB and VX nerve agents, some of which contained explosive elements. The depot is working to complete its mission before an international treaty deadline of April 29, 2012.

The state of Oregon allowed the incineration facility to increase its processing rate from 75 to 100 percent in the beginning of 2011.