Arsenal chemical weapons cleanup will take 25 years - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Arsenal chemical weapons cleanup will take 25 years

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A massive cleanup operation will soon begin on the arsenal to remove buried chemical weapons. A massive cleanup operation will soon begin on the arsenal to remove buried chemical weapons.
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

Chemical weapons buried improperly on Redstone Arsenal have sparked an investigation and massive cleanup effort.

An arsenal spokesperson confirmed there are 17 chemical warfare burial sites on the arsenal. Those sites date back to the end of WWII. The weapons need to be dug up and disposed of properly.

Spokesperson Terri Stover with Public Affairs said the improper disposal was no one's fault. The methods used on the arsenal were standard for the time. She said it wasn't until years later, environmentalists realized there were safer methods of disposal.

Redstone Arsenal has been working with the Alabama Department of Environmental Management and the Environmental Protection Agency for the past two years to plan a large-scale cleanup effort. However, the investigation was just announced.

A unit of the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center is responsible for the investigation and cleanup process. The unit is called the Chemical Biological Application and Risk Reduction, or CBARR.

A chemist with CBARR called this the monster of all cleanup projects in a recent publication by the Edgewood Chemical Biological Center.

The agency says the investigation and initial field work will begin at the end of May and last for about 30 days.

The entire cleanup process will take 25 years to complete.

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