- WASHINGTON - The U.S. Army's
plan to destroy VX nerve agent stockpiled in Indiana and ship the chemical
byproduct to New Jersey to be dumped in the Delaware River may not completely
remove all traces of the deadly chemical, the government says.
- The plan "has raised concerns and questions about
potential impacts on public health and the environment," the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday.
- Rep. Robert Andrews, D-N.J., one of several New Jersey
and Delaware lawmakers critical of the plan, urged the Army to abandon
- The Army will destroy the VX nerve agent stockpiled at
the Newport Chemical Depot in western Indiana and then store the byproduct
there until a decision is made on how to treat and dispose of it. The Army
expects the 1,269 tons of VX to be destroyed in 2 1/2 years.
- The VX - a liquid with the consistency of mineral oil
that can kill a healthy adult male with a single pinpoint droplet - has
been stockpiled at the depot since it was created in the 1960s.
- The VX neutralization at the depot is expected to result
in 4 million gallons of a chemical byproduct called hydrolysate, which
would require additional treatment at DuPont's Chambers Works plant in
Deepwater, N.J., before it is dumped into the Delaware River.
- The CDC report is critical in several areas, including
the possibility of traces of VX still being present in the byproduct that
would not be harmful to humans but could harm fish. There was no information
showing that the DuPont plant is capable of treating traces of VX nerve
agent or other compounds in the chemical byproduct, the CDC said.
- The report does say it is safe for the Army to ship the
byproduct via tanker trucks from Indiana to New Jersey. Several congressmen
and senators from New Jersey and Delaware asked the agency last year to
study the Army's plan.
- The U.S. Army Chemical Materials Agency released a statement
Wednesday saying it was reviewing the report.
- Nick Fanandakis, vice president and general manager of
DuPont Chemical Solutions Enterprise, said the company will review the
report and will not move forward with the Army's plan until the recommendations
are reviewed and addressed.
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