Chemical depot reaches halfway milestone

HERMISTON -- The Umatilla Chemical Depot has reached the halfway point in its final disposal campaign.

Saturday, the 1,318th ton container of chemical weapon mustard agent stored at the Umatilla Chemical Depot was destroyed. That marks the halfway point in the campaign to incinerate the mustard agent, the last chemical weapon agent remaining at the depot. The Umatilla Chemical Agent Disposal Facility began destroying chemical weapon agents in fall 2004 and began work to destroy the mustard agent in June 2009.

Nerve agents GB and VX munitions, some also containing explosive components, were destroyed before incineration began on the mustard, which is a blister agent.

The depot is working toward an international treaty deadline of April 29, 2012, to have all the agent destroyed.