Deseret Chemical Depot eliminates last of its weapons stockpile
The depot was once home to the Army's largest collection of chemical weapons - approximately 13,600 tons. It expects to have destroyed all of them by the end of the week, by which time it plans to have incinerated a final supply of Lewisite, a formidable lung, eye and skin irritant, according to MSNBC.
The army will have destroyed 90 percent of its total chemical weapons stockpile when the Lewisite is eliminated.
"It gives me great joy and satisfaction to be done," Ted Ryba, the Army's project manager at the depot, said, MSNBC reports.
The United States is a signatory to the Chemical Weapons Convention, an international treaty that has operated with some success. The original date set by the CWC to have eliminated such weapons of mass destruction was April 29, but it will take many more years until this can be accomplished.
"Clearly, it's still a tremendous example of what the world can do," Craig Williams, the director of the Chemical Weapons Working Group in Berea, Kentucky said, MSNBC reports. "You've got 188 of 194 countries on the planet signing the treaty. It's an impressive effort, a great step forward for the safety of the world."
It will be 2021, at least, before the United States expects to have finished destroying the final ten percent of its chemical weapons stockpile.
Russia is even further behind, according to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. It has only destroyed approximately half of its substantial supply.