New Approaches Needed for Uncovering, Identifying, and Treating Buried Chemical Warfare Materiel

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on August 9, 2012

News release: “The current approach for identifying and destroying buried chemical munitions and related chemical warfare materials uncovered during environmental remediation projects is neither reliable enough nor has the capability to efficiently tackle large-scale projects, says a new report Remediation of Buried Chemical Warfare Materiel, from the National Research Council. An alternative or modified approach is needed to remediate the Redstone Arsenal and other such projects on active and former U.S. Department of Defense sites and ranges. Additionally, the report recommends that the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Army each select a single office to manage and fund recovered chemical warfare materiel (RCWM) remediation activities for DOD. Currently, authority and funding for RCWM activities depend on how and where the materiel is discovered, and could fall under multiple offices of either the secretary of defense or the Army Secretariat. The Army mission for RCWM remediation is turning into a much larger program that will rival those for conventional munition and hazardous substance cleanup, the report says, and is expected to cost billions of dollars over several years. A clear organizational structure and long-term funding are needed.”

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