Letters to the Editor

Letter: You get what you pay for with chemical vapor technology

Jim Homan said in his response to my letter (TCH, July 6) about venting Hanford tank farm vapors at a distance, that the “Stacks in the Sticks” project found it was not very effective. That project used the “cheap and dirty” approach of openly venting the vapors to the atmosphere. I would like to know how venting at a substantial distance downwind would not be effective or, alternatively, why using multiple and selectable venting stacks in different locations, to account for changing wind patterns, would not work?

In any case, the more “expensive and cleaner” approach might include collection and/or destruction of the chemical vapors, rather than open venting to the atmosphere. One possibility would include a combination of large scale filters, to collect some of the chemicals, followed by incineration of any remaining chemical vapors. This approach would lift a page from technology previously utilized, quite successfully, in the destruction of chemical weapons at the Umatilla Chemical Depot (UMCD), Oregon, not so long ago.

Is such an approach practical for reducing worker exposure to chemical vapors? As I said in my original letter, you get what you are willing to pay for.

Richard F. Hart Jr., Richland