Utah Depot Completes Destruction of Chemical Weapons
Workers at the Tooele Chemical Agent Disposal Facility at Deseret Chemical Depot in northwestern Utah incinerated the last of the facility’s inventory of the blister agent lewisite on Saturday, bringing to a close the depot’s campaign to destroy its stockpile of chemical weapons.
The milestone is even more significant for the Army, as Deseret was the last operating facility for demilitarizing chemical weapons by its Chemical Materials Agency.
Deseret is the last of three chemical depots included in the 2005 round of base closures to complete its weapons disposal mission. The others were Newport Chemical Depot, Ind., and Umatilla Chemical Depot, Ore.
About 1,400 workers at Deseret — including 1,100 working for contractors — will lose their jobs in phases as the facility is demolished, reported the Salt Lake Tribune. Command of Deseret will be turned over to Tooele Army Depot next year.
About 10 percent of the nation’s stockpile of chemical agent still remains. Plants at Richmond, Ky., and Pueblo, Colo., are still under construction to destroy those stockpiles under a separate DOD program.