Depot to begin destroying nerve agent in October

RICHMOND, Ky. (AP) -- A Pentagon official says if all goes as planned, the Army by the end of the year will finish destroying three containers leaking nerve agent at a Richmond depot.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reported Wednesday that the effort will begin next month at Blue Grass Army Depot. The manager of the program, Kevin Flamm, says the emergency procedure will be finished this year barring any setbacks.

Officials decided last year the nerve agent munitions needed to be destroyed ahead of schedule because the deadly agent was corroding the metal containers housing them. It's a first step toward the larger project involving all 523 tons of chemical weapons stockpiled at the depot.

The current timeframe calls for the entire stockpile to be destroyed by 2017. That would put the Kentucky storage site as last or second-to-last to finish destroying its chemicals to comply with an international treaty.

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(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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