CWWG

Resolution Opposing the Continuation of the Pentagon's Chemical Weapons Incineration Program and Advocating Safe Disposal of Chemical Warfare Agents signed September 20, 1998

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Resolution

Opposing the Continuation of the Pentagon's Chemical Weapons Incineration Program and Advocating Safe Disposal of Chemical Warfare Agents

Whereas, the National Gulf War Resource Center, along with the Chemical Weapons Working Group, supports the disposal of the United States stockpile of chemical weapons as called for in the Chemical Weapons Convention Treaty; and

Whereas, an October 1997 Congressional report linked Gulf War Illnesses to low-level exposure to nerve and mustard agents; and

Whereas, the long-term, cumulative and debilitating health impacts suffered by thousands of Gulf War veterans are widely believed to have been caused by exposure to these toxic agents alone or in synergy with other toxics; and

Whereas, the Pentagon is currently operating two chemical weapons incinerators which are known to routinely emit low levels of chemical warfare agents into the atmosphere; and

Whereas, the Pentagon's "safe" standards for nerve and mustard agent exposure are based on toxicity data the National Research Council, in a December 1997 report, found to be inadequate and invalid; and

Whereas, the Pentagon's outdated and invalid "safe" agent-exposure standards are not protective of veterans, workers, the general population and the environment; and

Whereas, the Pentagon is in the process of constructing additional incinerators which will result in the continued routine release of chemical warfare agents and other toxic chemicals into the environment; and

Whereas, the Pentagon has not considered the synergistic effects of low-level chemical agent exposure with other toxic materials either released into the environment by the incinerators or already present in the environment; and

Whereas, the existing incineration facilities have demonstrated their inability to operate in a steady-state, having been marred by chronic incidents, including explosions, numerous agent alarms and significant work stoppages due to technical problems; and

Whereas, the position of the Pentagon that the majority of the alarms at the facilities are false alarms mimics the pattern of denial, deception and incompetence witnessed during and since the Gulf War; and

Whereas, of the seven basic systems of the existing incineration facility in Utah, two have completely failed and are now inoperable, one has been shut down for a year and a half and the other four only operate part-time; and

Whereas, there are non-incineration technologies available that do not result in the release of chemical warfare agents and other toxics into the environment; and

Whereas, a 1996 Congressionally-mandated program is currently demonstrating three alternative technologies that have already been proven to contain all disposal residues until they are deemed safe for release; now therefore

Be it resolved that the National Gulf War Resource Center calls for a reconsideration of the Pentagon's current "safe and acceptable" exposure and emission standards in light of the National Research Council's 1997 report that found those standards to be inadequately protective and invalid; and

Be it further resolved that the National Gulf War Resource Center joins with the Chemical Weapons Working Group and others in urging the Pentagon to halt its burning of chemical warfare agents and the construction of additional incinerators until safer disposal technologies can be deployed in the pursuit of providing "maximum protection" for veterans, workers, the general population and the environment as mandated by federal law.

Adopted and Approved Unanimously by Member Groups and the Board of Directors of the National Gulf War Resource Center, Inc. on September 19, 1998.

Signed: Chris Kornkven, President

Signed: Paul Sullivan, Executive Director

And All Voting Member Groups:

Alaska Gulf War Syndrome Referrals, Eagle River, AK
Augusta Gulf War Veterans, Inc., Augusta, GA
Bill Motto Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5888, Santa Cruz, CA
California Association of Persian Gulf Veterans, Santa Cruz, CA
Citizen Soldier, Inc., New York, NY
Crisis in the Homeland, Mitchell, IN
Danish Gulf War Veterans Information Team, Denmark
Desert Storm Justice Foundation, Inc., Guthrie, OK
Desert Storm Veterans of Florida, Titusville, FL
Desert Storm Veterans of North Carolina, Inc., Richfield, NC
Desert Storm Veterans of the Rocky Mountains, Wheat Ridge, CO
Gulf Veterans Association, Scotland
Gulf War Veterans of Arkansas, Little Rock, AR
Gulf War Veterans of Delaware, Wilmington, DE
Gulf War Veterans of Georgia, Inc., Marietta, GA
Gulf War Veterans of Western Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Northeastern Ohio, East Palestine, OH
Gulf War Veterans of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
Gulf War Veterans of Southeast Texas, Orange, TX
GulfWatch, I.N.S., Hannibal, MO
Idaho Desert Storm Foundation, Lewiston, ID
The Last Patrol, Saint Cloud, FL
The Military Justice Clinic, Inc., Atlanta, GA
Northern California Association of Persian Gulf Veterans, Valley Springs, CA
Northwest Veterans for Peace, Inc., Portland, OR
Persian Gulf Information Network, Inc., Clarksville, TN
Persian Gulf Veterans, Inc., East Rochester, NY
Persian Gulf Veterans of America, Fort Huachuca, AZ
Persian Gulf Veterans of Rhode Island, Inc., North Smithfield, RI
Persian Gulf War Veterans Association of America, Oakland, CA
Staten Island Desert Storm Veterans, Staten Island, NY
Swords to Plowshares, Inc., San Francisco, CA
Trauma After Care Trust, United Kingdom
Unified Veterans of America, Inc., Dunn, NC
Veterans Family Health Services, Inc., Darien, CT
Veterans for Peace, Inc., Washington, DC
Veterans of Foreign Wars Rainbow Post 2681, Marietta, GA
Veterans Speakers Alliance, San Francisco, CA
VietNow, National Headquarters, Rockford, IL
West Virginia Gulf War Veterans Association, Inc., Vienna, WV



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