Umatilla disposal facility reduces workforce

The Umatilla Chemical Agent Disposal Facility incineration plant in Umatilla, Oregon, plans to reduce its workforce by 34 employees in November.

The move is the third time URS Corporation, which operates the project and built the facility, has eliminated positions at the plant since it finished incineration operations in October 2011, according to

URS said that 11 of the employees will be transferring to other URS projects, but 23 people will be laid off permanently as a result. The eliminated positions include 27 plant workers, including some from the maintenance and operations departments, and seven from support departments, including finance, training and supply chain.

The facility's metal parts furnace continues to operate, but the project recently shutdown its second liquid incinerator, prompting the reduction in staff. The furnace will continue to be used as cleanup operations continue and contaminated materials are disposed of, reports.

URS expects to layoff an additional 150 workers in February when the furnace is scheduled to shutdown. There are currently 738 workers, down from 830 when chemical agent cleanup operations ceased.

The plant closure should take another two years, with periodic layoffs scheduled throughout that time as significant portions of the facility are no longer needed.