Chemical Weapons

Anniston Chemical Disposal 200x120
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Congress is adding its voice to the call for enhanced safety at incinerators, including one in Alabama, where some of the nation's deadliest chemical agents are being destroyed.

In a bill authorizing defense spending, senators approved a "sense of the Congress" provision today that asks the Army to improve chemical monitoring at the incinerator sites. The House had already approved the same request.

The measure is nonbonding but aims to apply more pressure on the Army to invest in such technology as infrared spectrometers, which supporters say can detect a chemical accident far quicker than the monitors currently in place.

Alabama Senator Richard Shelby supported the bill, saying the technology gets outdated every month.

The Anniston incinerator has destroyed more than 10,700 chemical rockets and more than 11,300 gallons of liquid GB since the operation began on August ninth.

Besides incinerators that had been activated at Anniston and near Tooele, Utah, others are being tested near Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and near Hermiston, Oregon. The Army has opted to use chemical neutralization as opposed to incineration to destroy nerve agents in Colorado, Indiana, Kentucky and Maryland.