U.S. Army Announces $2.5 Billion in Contract Additions for Chemical Weapons Demilitarization Work
The U.S. Army Chemical Materials Agency has awarded additions to Washington Group International’s contracts at three U.S. chemical weapons demilitarization plants, with the value of the modifications estimated at $2.5 billion.
The contracts fall under provisions of the treaty of the Chemical Weapons Convention of April 1997. The treaty, signed by 182 nations including the United States, calls for a destruction schedule for chemical weapons stockpiles and a system of regular inspections.
The contracts require Washington Group to continue to destroy chemical warfare agent and weapons and also to close down operations and related facilities in Anniston, Ala., Umatilla, Ore. and Pine Bluff, Ark. The contract modifications set the date of April 2012 for agent and weapons destruction, to be followed by the closing of the facilities.
Washington Group has performed chemical demilitarization operations at these facilities for several years, destroying more than 432,000 rockets, mortars, projectiles, land mines and bulk containers of chemical agents and nearly 2,139 tons of chemical warfare material. The three plants boast excellent safety records, recording more than 21 million work hours without a lost day of work. The Anniston and Umatilla facilities also have received the Occupational Safety and Health Agency’s Star Status under its Voluntary Protection Program.
From 1985 to 2000, Washington Group operated and closed the Army’s prototype chemical demilitarization plant, the Johnson Atoll Chemical Agent Disposal System, located 800 miles southwest of Hawaii. Operations at Johnston Atoll included destroying over 400,000 weapons and 2,200 tons of various chemical warfare agents.
Washington Group is on the team that will manage operations at neutralization-based chemical demilitarization plants in Pueblo, Colo., and Blue Grass, Ky.