Lawmakers Agree on Funds to Destroy Aging U.S. Chemical Arms

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Global Security Newswire Staff
June 12, 2014, 9:31 a.m.

Both sides of the U.S. Con­gress plan to spend $596 mil­lion in fisc­al 2015 to help elim­in­ate re­main­ing Cold War chem­ic­al arms, the Rich­mond Re­gister re­ports.

A vet­er­an ana­lyst aired the fig­ure on Wed­nes­day at a meet­ing of the Ken­tucky-based Chem­ic­al De­mil­it­ar­iz­a­tion Cit­izens’ Ad­vis­ory Com­mis­sion. The United States in­tends to chem­ic­ally neut­ral­ize most of the re­main­ing war­fare agents held at the Blue Grass Army De­pot in Ken­tucky and the Pueblo Chem­ic­al De­pot in Col­or­ado.

Craig Wil­li­ams, co-chair­man of the over­sight com­mis­sion, said he be­lieves the fund­ing level for chem­ic­al-weapons de­struc­tion would ul­ti­mately carry through to the fi­nal ap­pro­pri­ations le­gis­la­tion, though the Sen­ate and House may dif­fer over oth­er seg­ments of their com­pet­ing bills.

Mean­while, work­ers have fin­ished more than four-fifths of the con­struc­tion of a plant to des­troy chem­ic­als held at the Ken­tucky de­pot, site pro­ject man­ager Jeff Brubaker told meet­ing par­ti­cipants.

Lt. Col. Chris­toph­er Grice, head of the Blue Grass Army De­pot’s chem­ic­al activ­ity, said tech­ni­cians de­cided against un­pack­ing a pair of prob­lem­at­ic chem­ic­al-loaded rock­ets slated for dis­man­tle­ment. The two weapons are now housed in ad­di­tion­al pack­aging with sim­il­ar mu­ni­tions, which are ex­pec­ted to even­tu­ally be pro­cessed dir­ectly by the de­struc­tion fa­cil­ity.


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