Apr 20 2005


WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Senator Richard C. Shelby (R-AL) today reacted to a decision by the Department of Defense to release funds for construction of chemical weapons incinerators in Colorado and Kentucky.

Specifically, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Michael Wynne issued a memo providing the Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternative (ACWA), the agency responsible for oversight of the sites in Kentucky and Colorado, with full access to funding that had been previously withheld in the fiscal year 2005 budget for construction of chemical weapons incinerators. The memo also states that studying the concept of transportation of chemical weapons should cease.

Senator Shelby said, “This announcement is long overdue. I have been concerned for some time about the Department of Defense’s decision to withhold funds for construction of chemical weapons incinerators in Colorado and Kentucky. The construction of these incinerators is critical in order to meet the requirements of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) which states that all chemical weapons stockpiles must be destroyed by April 29, 2012. I share the concerns of many in my State of Alabama that the Anniston Army Depot could be subjected to more weapons should these other facilities not be built.”

“I was given assurances in the past that the incinerator in Anniston would only be used for the destruction of weapons already in Anniston and once that work was complete, the facility would no longer be used. I am pleased the Department of Defense is keeping its word and moving forward with the construction of these other facilities.”

“I am pleased that officials have ceased the study of the transportation of chemical weapons across State lines,” Shelby concluded.

Senator Shelby has been concerned about this issue since it was first announced that the Army Chemical Materials Agency was directed by the Department of Defense to study the transportation of chemical weapons. He is an original co-sponsor of S.186, which would prohibit the use of Department of Defense funds for any study related to the transportation of chemical munitions across State lines.

Senator Shelby was a strong supporter of language in the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations bill, which passed out of the Appropriations Committee on April 6, 2005, that reads in part, The Committee believes the chemical demilitarization program will require significantly more funding to comply with the Treaty...The Committee does not support the use of appropriated funds for any studies that consider transporting chemical munitions across State lines...Further, the Committee expects that all of the planned sites will be developed and operated to include Blue Grass (KY) and Pueblo (CO) and instructs the Department of Defense to begin obligation of funds at Blue Grass and Pueblo immediately.

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