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  Latest News  
  June 16, 2005  

GOVERNMENT & POLICY

  VX Spill At Disposal Facility
Nerve agent spill at Indiana facility cleaned up with no release to environment or harm to workers
 

LOIS EMBER
   
 
 

A 30-gal spill of deadly VX nerve agent at the Army’s Newport, Ind., disposal facility on June 10 has been cleaned up. The spill occurred after more than 3,000 gal of the VX had been neutralized at the facility, and the cause is believed to be a malfunctioning valve diaphragm.

The spill is the first since the Newport facility began neutralizing VX in May and occurred in a highly contained toxic cubicle where the VX is transferred from a holding tank to the neutralization reactor. No VX was released to the environment and no workers were in the cubicle. The toxic cubicle has been decontaminated with sodium hydroxide and water, and, at press time, the Army’s contractor, Parsons, planned to replace the faulty valve and conduct a test run. If there are no leaks, the facility will resume neutralizing VX next week.

The Army plans to ship the hydrolysate—the product of VX neutralization—to DuPont’s Chamberworks facility in New Jersey for secondary treatment and disposal into the Delaware River. However, local opposition is currently preventing the Army from carrying out this plan.

 
     
  Chemical & Engineering News
ISSN 0009-2347
Copyright © 2005
 


 
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