Riley Incinerator

By  | 

Gov. Bob Riley says before he approves operation of the chemical weapons incinerator in Anniston, he wants the power to shut it down.

The new condition, added this week, is the reason Riley has not yet made a decision on the incinerator's start-up. With state and Army attorneys in negotiations, the starting date for the incinerator is again up in the air.

The Army built the incinerator to destroy more than 2200 tons of deteriorating chemical weapons stored at the Anniston Army Depot.

The plan would involve working with certain restrictions. For example, the Army would not burn nerve agent during school hours until the schools have extensive protection equipment installed.

Legally, the Army does not need Riley's go-ahead to begin operations, but it does need a state hazardous-waste permit, which environmental regulators last week said was nearly ready.

The Army has chemical weapons stockpiled at eight sites around the U.S., including Anniston.