U.S. Army officials will not begin burning chemical weapons at the Umatilla Military Chemical Demilitarization Facility in Oregon until late spring or early summer of next year, the Hermiston (Ore.) Herald reported last week (see GSN, Aug. 14).
Workers at the plant are scheduled to complete preparations for the burn by February or March of next year and will then need approval from Oregon and from the Army, according to Army site project manager Don Barclay.
“We don’t want dates to drive the project,” Barclay said. “Safety and performance are what drives the project,” he added.
Officials are delaying the project because of performance issues with the incinerator, emissions problems and a faulty system to feed the material into the burn. The munitions will not present a safety hazard during the delay, Barclay said.
“The munitions have gone through extensive testing,” he said (Karen Hutchinson-Talaski, Hermiston Herald, Oct. 21).