Skip to content

Army can go forward with weapons incineration

August 20, 2009

The Army has been approved by a U.S. District judge to go forward with its plans to incinerate World War II-era chemical weapons, dealing a huge blow to the 20 citizens’ groups that opposed the incineration in a lawsuit. Craig Williams’s Chemical Weapons Working Group was the plaintiff in the case against the U.S. Department of Defense. The incineration plans stem from a 1993 order by Congress for the Army to dispose of certain chemical weapons stockpiles in order to comply with an international treaty.

Williams, a 2006 Goldman Prize recipient, argues that the weapons contain chemicals, such as sarin and mustard, that when burned, pose significant risks to populations and ecosystems nearby.  The lawsuit he helped initiate sought to require the Army to run additional tests on safety, as well as alternatives to incineration, such as chemical neutralization.  The Army, however, countered that neutralization works only for chemical agents, themselves, not including the housings that would continue to pose a threat. Though the Army has conducted safety tests, the lawsuit asserts that the tests are outdated.

The plaintiffs are said to be considering an appeal to this judgment.

Army Wins Court Approval to Burn Chemical Weapons [Bloomberg News]

Related Posts

Goldman Prize Winners Call for Release of Nguy Thi Khanh


September 13, 2022

Today, 52 Goldman Environmental Prize winners sent a letter to the members of the UN Human Rights Council in support of Nguy Thi Khanh, the 2018 Goldman Environmental Prize winner from Vietnam. Khanh is serving a two-year prison sentence in Vietnam for the alleged crime of tax evasion, widely understood as punishment for being an…

Read more

Stopping the Spill: How Oil Is Changing Our Earth


August 22, 2022 – By Jacqueline Kehoe

News headlines every few years can leave the impression that oil spills are rare, one-off events, like BP’s Deepwater Horizon spill in 2010 or the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster. In reality, they happen constantly: Over 700 million gallons of waste oil reach the ocean every year, destroying entire ecosystems and communities. Beyond its role in…

Read more

Indigenous Communities: Protectors of our Forests


August 8, 2022 – By Jacqueline Kehoe

It has now become widely understood in environmental circles that Indigenous groups around the world are often the best stewards of land conservation because of their longstanding cultural, spiritual, and physical connections to their territories. August 9, is UN International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, a day that recognizes the unique role of Indigenous…

Read more