New delay for VX waste plan

JEFF MONTGOMERY, THE NEWS JOURNAL, OCTOBER19, 2006
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Effects of VX gas exposure in Halabja
An amendment in a defense spending bill has sidetracked Army plans to send chemical weapon disposal waste to a Delaware River treatment plant, three south Jersey lawmakers said today.
Reps. Rob Andrews, Rob. Andrews, Frank LoBiondo and Jim Saxton said the provision assures a Government Accountability Office review of the proposal to treat caustic leftovers from a VX nerve agent neutralization process in Indiana.
VX is one of the military’s deadliest chemical weapons, with a tiny droplet capable of killing on contact with human skin. The Army wants to send 2 to 4 million gallons of neutralized VX to a commercial industrial wastewater plant operated by the DuPont Co. at its Chambers Works plant for final disposal. The plant is located near the New Jersey side of the Delaware Memorial Bridge.
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The weapons that carried VX nerve gas
Andrews said the amendment, in a bill signed by President Bush this week, bars any shipments of VX wastewater for at least 60 days after the report is completed. Although the Centers for Disease Control and Environmental Protection Agency found recently that the project could be managed safely, critics have argued that the proposal ignores threats to people and pollution risks in the river.
“I believe strongly that there are too many risks and too many unanswered questions bout this plan and it should never happen,” Andrews said.
For more coverage see The News Journal on Friday or www.delawareonline.com.
Contact Jeff Montgomery at 678-4277 or jmontgomery@delawareonline.com

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