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Craig Williams 859-986-7565
for immediate release Thursday 14 May 2009
PENTAGON REPORT SAYS THEY WILL NOT SHIP CO AND KY CHEMICAL AGENT HYDROLYSATE OFF-SITE FOR TREATMENTReport Also Confirms Significant Increase in Funds for Disposal Projects at Both Sites
In a report issued today to Congress, the Defense Department all but shut the door on the possible shipment of chemical warfare agent hydrolysate (the by-product of neutralizing the agents) off-site to incineration facilities far away from the stockpile locations in Pueblo, Colorado and Richmond, Kentucky. The Report stated, "On-site destruction of hydrolysate at Pueblo and Blue Grass will continue, unless technical difficulties arise."
"This is yet another piece of good news for Madison County and Central Kentucky," Representative Ben Chandler said. "Disposing of hydrolysate at BGAD not only eliminates the possibility of an accident during transport, but also keeps this work in the experienced hands of the hard-working people of Kentucky."
This decision was reached after years of studies and recommendations from the government, independent contractors, the National Research Council and Citizens Advisory Commissions (CAC). At the end of the day the decision was made to comply with the original plan, to treat this material on-site.
Madison County KY's Judge Executive, Kent Clark said, "This has been a key issue of concern for this community and we have consistently opposed putting this material on the highways, recognizing the risks associated with such movement."
For years the presumption was made that it would save time and money to ship the material off-site, but study after study was inconclusive that such would be the case. In fact, a 2006 Army study showed the likelihood that it would actually increase the cost to ship it off-site.
KY CAC Chair, Dr. Douglas Hindman said, "Treating this material here has always been a part of a long agreed upon plan for Blue Grass and changing the agreement now would almost certainly lead to delays and additional costs. The DoD decision is the right one for our stockpile."
Senator Mitch McConnell said, "Disposing of this waste on site rather than moving it on Kentucky's roads and highways will not only protect our environment but will keep the people of Kentucky safe."
In addition to the hydrolysate decision, today's report also confirms the significant increase in the President's budget request for the two sites disposal projects - up by over $246 Billion for 2010.
According to the report, this increase in funding could cut up to three years off each site's completion date. In Colorado agent operations would end by 2017 and in Kentucky by 2021, possibly 2020. There is currently a 2017 mandated deadline for completion, but the report states that date cannot be reached at Blue Grass.
"That may not be the case," commented CWWG director, Craig Williams ." According to several high level sources who chose to speak off the record, the 2020 date can be improved upon if the higher funding levels are sustained. In addition, hundreds of millions can be saved by accelerating the program rather than stretching it out."