Chemical Weapons: Destruction Schedule Delays and Cost Growth Continue to Challenge Program Management

GAO-04-634T Published: Apr 01, 2004. Publicly Released: Apr 01, 2004.
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Since its inception in 1985, the Chemical Demilitarization (Chem-Demil) Program has been charged with destroying the nation's large chemical weapons stockpile of over 31,000 tons of agent. The program started destroying the stockpile in 1990. As of March 2004, the program had destroyed over 27 percent of the stockpile. The program has recently reorganized into the Chemical Materials Agency (CMA) to manage seven of the nine sites. There are five sites using incineration to destroy the agent and two bulk agent only sites using neutralization. The Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives (ACWA) Program, in the Department of Defense (DOD), manages two sites using neutralization to destroy agent in weapons. This testimony updates GAO's September 2003 report and October 2003 testimony. As requested, it focuses on the following issues: (1) changes in the status of schedule milestones and costs at the sites, (2) recent developments that impact the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) deadlines, (3) the challenges associated with managing the program, and (4) an update on the status of the Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program (CSEPP).

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