Issue Date: August 7, 2006
Army's VX nerve agent plan gets CDC backing
The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) has given the Army the green light to transfer the wastewater by-product, hydrolysate, from the neutralization of 250,000 gal of VX nerve agent stored at its Indiana depot to a DuPont facility in New Jersey for further treatment and disposal. In its final report released on July 27, CDC concluded that transfer of up to 4 million gal of caustic hydrolysate by rail to DuPont's hazardous waste treatment facility in Deepwater, N.J., poses acceptable risks to the public or the environment. CDC also concluded, with EPA's concurrence, that DuPont's revised plan for secondary treatment of the hydrolysate and ultimate disposal to the Delaware River poses acceptable risks to workers or aquatic life. New Jersey lawmakers disagree and want the Army to revert to its original plan. That plan would have had the Army destroy the nerve agent using supercritical water oxidation on-site in Indiana. The Army, however, can't move forward with its current plan, even with CDC's approval, until February 2007, when a congressionally mandated report on the transfer is expected to be completed.
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