Syrian Attack Underscores Importance of Safe Chemical Weapon Disposal

October 3, 2013

Sarin gas, the chemical agent used in August’s deadly attacks in Syria, is one of the chemical weapons stored in Madison County, Kentucky – home of 2006 Goldman Prize recipient Craig Williams, who has dedicated his life to the safe disposal of the United States’ chemical weapons stockpiles.

Chemical weapons not only pose an extreme risk to human safety – they are considered a weapon of mass destruction by the international community – they are also a serious environmental hazard.

In 1985, Williams founded Chemical Weapons Working Group (CWWG), a nationwide grassroots coalition, to convince the Pentagon to stop plans to incinerate stockpiles of chemical weapons stored in multiple locations around the United States- a highly volatile and expensive process.

Since that time, Williams and his team at CWWG have helped implement and monitor safe disposal alternatives at stockpile sites around the country.

As a member of the Governor’s Commission on Chemical Weapons, Williams has attended two sessions of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the international body overseeing global chemical weapon elimination efforts at The Hague in the Netherlands.

Thanks to the continued dedication of people like Williams, over 78% of the world’s chemical weapons stockpiles have been safely destroyed to date.