Congressional Committee Plans Field Hearing on Chemical Weapons Disposal

A U.S. congressional subcommittee has scheduled an Oct. 22 hearing in Ohio to discuss plans for disposing of a chemical weapons byproduct in Dayton's wastewater treatment system (see GSN, Oct. 9).

Representative Christopher Shays (R-Conn.), chairman of the House Government Reform subcommittee on national security, said Wednesday that the meeting would look into the Army's chemical destruction contracting practices.

The Army has contracted with chemical disposal company Perma-Fix to process 330,000 gallons of hydrolysate -- produced when VX nerve agent is neutralized -- but local officials have refused to issue the required permit.

The hearing "will give the people of our area the opportunity to hear from the Army in a formal setting, and the Army will have a chance to hear from us," said Representative Michael Turner (R-Ohio).

The Army's contract with Perma-Fix requires "public acceptance" of the plan before disposal can begin, but defense officials have rebuffed Turner's attempts to clarify that phrase, according to the Dayton Daily News.

"They've never given us a consistent answer," said Turner aide Stacy Barton (Jim DeBrosse, Dayton Daily News, Oct. 9).

October 10, 2003
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A U.S. congressional subcommittee has scheduled an Oct. 22 hearing in Ohio to discuss plans for disposing of a chemical weapons byproduct in Dayton's wastewater treatment system (see GSN, Oct. 9).