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2002-03-29

The Army Will Incinerate Nerve Gas Weapons in a Metropolitan Area of Alabama, But Civilians Aren’t to Worry: The Government Will Buy Them Gas Masks

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The Army is moving ahead with a plan to incinerate deadly nerve agents in a metropolitan area in Alabama. But people shouldn’t worry about their safety: the federal government announced on Wednesday that it will spend some $7 million for gas masks and training for the thousands of civilians who live near an incinerator.

Bunkers in Anniston, Alabama hold over 2,000 tons of rockets, artillery shells, land mines and bulk containers of chemical weapons. Some of the obsolete munitions date back to World War II, and contain mustard, Sarin and VX gases.

The weapons must be destroyed under terms of an international chemical weapons treaty. But this will be the first time the Army has attempted to incinerate the weapons in a heavily populated area.

The Alabama Governor’s office filed a lawsuit to block opening of the chemical weapons incinerator several months ago. But the office relented when the government said it would pay for gas masks and training.

Guests:

  • Craig Williams, director, Chemical Weapons Grouping Group.
  • Mike Abrams, spokesman for the Anniston Army depot’s incinerator facility.
  • Rufus Kinney, Families Concerned About Nerve Gas Incineration.
  • Ted Hosp, legal aid for Alabama governor Don Siegelman (filed the lawsuit).

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