Department of the Army's Chemical Munitions Disposal Program

Gao ID: T-NSIAD-87-7 March 4, 1987

GAO testified on the Army's draft environmental statement on its chemical munitions stockpile disposal program, specifically whether: (1) the supporting documentation fully addressed all aspects of risk assessment; (2) the cost data were fully supportable and reasonable; (3) the current incineration technology has full-scale production capabilities; (4) the Army is seriously considering other destruction technologies; and (5) the Army will be able to meet the mandated 1994 destruction deadline. GAO found that the Army: (1) calculated accident probabilities for M55 rockets only in its hazard and risk analyses; (2) did not identify some potential accident scenarios for the regional and national disposal options; (3) did not fully assess emergency response activities; (4) failed to describe its air monitoring technology and limitations in the draft environmental statement; (5) underestimated its transportation costs because it did not include considerations such as an emergency response for communities along the rail transportation routes and necessary upgrade or repair of railroad lines; (6) underestimated costs for procuring and installing equipment; (7) did not develop its chemical agency munitions disposal system with full-scale production capabilities; (8) is considering the baseline technology and the cryofracture technology as two disposal methods; and (9) is experiencing delays in obtaining environmental permits, which will result in construction delays and the possibility that it will not meet its 1994 disposal deadline.

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