Review of Chemical Agent Secondary Waste Disposal and Regulatory Requirements

Public Briefing
July 26, 2007

NAS Lecture Room
Washington, D.C.

Opening Statement by

Peter B. Lederman, PhD.
Executive Director, Hazardous Substance Management Research Center (retired), New Jersey Institute of Technology


Chair, Committee on Review Chemical Agent Secondary Waste Disposal and Regulatory Requirements

Good afternoon.  Thank you for joining us for the release of our report, Review of Chemical Agent Secondary Waste Disposal and Regulatory Requirements.  I am pleased to be joined by my fellow committee member Rebecca Haffenden, Esq. to discuss this report with you.  I also extend my sincere thanks to all the committee members and the National Academies Board on Army Science and Technology Staff who worked on this report. 

Over the past several years, the U.S. Army's Chemical Materials Agency has requested studies from the National Research Council of the National Academies to assist with the destruction of the U.S. chemical weapons stockpile.  Just a few weeks ago, on June 21, 2007, the U.S. Army announced that it had destroyed 45% of the U.S. chemical agent stockpile destruction. This is a very commendable milestone and occurred several months before an international treaty deadline.  The original stockpile contained over 30,000 tons of mustard blister agent and sarin and VX nerve agent along with over 1.6 million weapons and containers.    The purpose of the study being briefed today was to advise the Agency on requirements and best practices for managing the growing volume of secondary waste that is being generated as progress is made in the stockpile destruction. The report presents a review of current secondary waste disposal regulations and practices, including trial burn and health risk assessment requirements, and also makes comparisons of Army practices and requirements, with those practices and requirements found in industry. 

As the moderator indicated, a copy of the briefing presentation is available for downloading by those of you joining the webcast.  I will now follow the presentation slides.

See POWER POINT Briefing Presentation

This concludes my opening remarks and formal presentation.  My colleague and I would be happy to take your questions now.  Those of you listening to the live webcast can submit questions via email using a link at the National Academies home page.  We ask those in the room to step to the microphone, and please identify yourself by name and affiliation before asking your question.  Thank you.