Ordnance set for destruction at Schofield
Chemical munitions found during a sweep of a training range are in secure storage
The Army will destroy 71 chemical munitions next week that were discovered while clearing a Schofield Barracks training range.
The detonations, which will occur during a period of 15 days beginning Tuesday, will be done in a self-contained chamber and will not pose a threat to the health or safety of anyone at Schofield Barracks, the Army said in a written statement.
One munition contains chloropicrin, a tearing agent also used in insecticides and fumigants. The remaining 70 munitions are filled with phosgene, which causes choking and was used during World War I. Phosgene also is used commercially to make plastics and pesticides, the Army said.
The ordnance was found while a Schofield Barracks training range was being cleared in 2006 for use by the 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team. A total of 138 munitions were found in early 2006.
Six chemical munitions were detonated on the range in February 2006 and the rest were stored while the Army conducted an environmental assessment to determine the safest way to dispose of the chemical weapons.
About 250 munitions with an unknown liquid were deemed safe to move and were transported to a secure holding area for identification, said Stefanie Gardin, Army spokeswoman. Those that were found not to contain any chemical properties were destroyed, Gardin said.
The Army will use a "Transportable Detonation Chamber" inside a temporary structure that would contain any vapors released if there were an accident.
The operations would result in "negligible increases in annual air emissions" at Schofield Barracks, the environmental assessment said, and "temporary, negligible increases in existing noise levels."
Gardin said a team of Army experts from Edgewood Chemical Biological Center were sent to dispose of the weapons.
"The Army's use of total containment technology, within a system enclosure, to destroy these recovered chemical munitions ensures the protection of our workers, the public and the environment," said David Hoffman, program manager with the U.S. Army Chemical Materials Agency.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Stefanie Gardin is the spokeswoman for the 25th Infantry Division. Her last name was originally misspelled in this story.