Chemical Weapons Destruction:

Issues Related to Environmental Permitting and Testing Experience

T-NSIAD-92-43: Published: Jun 16, 1992. Publicly Released: Jun 16, 1992.

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GAO discussed factors that could impede the timely completion of the Department of Defense (DOD) Chemical Stockpile Disposal Program and could contribute to higher cost growth. GAO noted: (1) despite the importance of public involvement in environmental permit decisions, the Army began incinerating munitions at its Johnston Island facility under a temporary authorization and initiated preliminary construction at the Anniston, Alabama, site under special authorization before soliciting public comment and scrutiny; (2) concerns about the health and environmental hazards that could result from the incineration of chemical weapons have led several states to either enact or consider enactment of legislation that could delay or even prevent construction of chemical weapon incinerators; (3) because of probable delays in obtaining environmental permits needed to start construction, the Army's fiscal year 1993 funding request for construction and incineration equipment at two sites could be deferred; and (4) unexpected mechanical difficulties, threaten to delay program completion and will probably contribute to future cost growth.

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