HERMISTON -- The Umatilla Chemical Depot's incineration plant plans to process nine "overfilled" ton containers holding mustard weapon agent during the next few days.
The Umatilla Chemical Agent Disposal Facility will be taking special precautions to avoid spilling chemical weapons agent in the Bulk Drain Station room.
Overfilled ton containers were filled to the brim, making it difficult to avoid spilling agent when the container is opened to be drained.
The first time an overfilled ton container was opened, about a year ago, agent splashed across the room, forcing extensive decontamination and clean up.
Since then, a splash shield has been developed to minimize contamination.
Of the nine remaining overfilled ton containers, the five weighing less than 2,000 pounds are expected to drain without issue. But the four heaviest -- ranging from 2,003 to 2,101 pounds -- are expected to present contamination issues that the splash shield should help minimize.
The last of the agent stored at the depot is planned to be destroyed in November.