U.S. ARMY WANTS NEW CHEMICAL WEAPONS TEST AUTHORITY AT JOHNSTON ISLAND

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HONOLULU, Hawai‘i (February 28, 1999 - PIDP/CPIS/Hulsen)---The U.S. Army's hazardous waste treatment and storage facility on Johnston Island, located some 825 miles southwest of Honolulu, is seeking authority to conduct new chemical weapons disposal incineration tests.

In a public notice, the Army announced it wants to use its chemical agent disposal system to increase the rate and temperature at which it destroys 155 millimeter projectiles, and then use a lower afterburner temperature.

The Army said the changes, if approved after the test, will make the incineration of remaining weapons more efficient and will speed up the incineration pace.

A public meeting regarding the proposal will be held in Honolulu on April 13.

Since JACADS, the Johnson Atoll Chemical Agent Disposal System, began operation on the tiny island in 1990, significant quantities of World War II nerve agents GB and VX, blister agent HD and associated weapons have been destroyed.

Planning for closure of the facility --and restoring it as a wildlife preserve-- now is under way.

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