Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)


Deseret Chemical Depot (DCD)
Tooele, Utah

Deseret Chemical Depot (DCD) began storing chemical weapons in 1942 and once stored 13,676 tons of chemical agents, which totaled more than 44 percent of the nationís original stockpile. DCDís original stockpile consisted of various munitions and ton containers, containing GB, GA and VX nerve agents or H, HD, HT and Lewisite blister agents. The depot also served as the location for the Tooele Chemical Agent Disposal Facility (TOCDF) and the Chemical Agent Munitions Disposal System (CAMDS). CAMDS once served as the primary research, test and development facility for the nationís chemical weapons elimination program; closure of this facility was completed in April 2013.

Destruction of chemical weapons by the TOCDF, the first full-scale disposal facility in the continental United States, began in August 1996. The last chemical agent munition in the DCD stockpile was destroyed on January 21, 2012. The Army worked in partnership with Utah state and local government agencies, as well as federal agencies like the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to safeguard the local community and protect the environment as we stored and disposed of these chemical weapons.

The Tooele Chemical Agent Disposal Facility, located at the Deseret Chemical Depot 22 miles south of Tooele, Utah, is designed to dispose of 13,616 tons, or approximately 44.5 percent of the original US stockpile of chemical weapons. The Tooele Chemical Agent Disposal Facility is the first full-scale facility in the continental United States built to destroy chemical weapons and agent. As of June 1998, the Tooele Chemical Agent Disposal Facility has destroyed over three million pounds of chemical agent, or approximately 13 percent of the US stockpile of chemical weapons since the beginning of operations in August 1996. In 2005, however, DoD recommended to close Deseret chemical depot as part of its BRAC Recommendations (see below for details).

The TEAD headquarters area is a 25,172 acre installation located 35 miles west of Salt Lake City. Originally named the Tooele Ordnance Depot (TOD), it was established at Tooele, Utah, as a World War II Ordnance Corps installation in 1942. Construction of the TEAD facilities was completed in 1943. Originally the north area was known as the Tooele Ordnance Depot, which functioned as a storage depot for World War II supplies, ammunition, and combat vehicles. Originally constructed as an ordnance depot, TOD began operations as a storage, supply, and repair depot in March 1947. In 1949 TEAD assumed command of the Desert Chemical Depot, now known as TEAD South Area. TOD was later transferred from the jurisdiction of the Chief of Ordnance to that of the Commanding General, U.S. Army Materiel Command, effective August 1, 1962 and was renamed Tooele Army Depot.

The depot retained only the conventional ammunition storage, maintenance and demilitarization portions of its mission. TEAD was listed on the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) list in 1993. Recommendations were to close and transfer the Maintenance and Supply missions by 1999. This was accomplished almost 4 years ahead of schedule due to "fast tracking". TEAD is now actively engaged in transferring the 1,707 acre BRAC parcel to the Tooele City Local Reuse Authority (LRA). During the realignment, the Depot downsized from over 3,000 employees to 624 employees.

There are three main missions at Tooele Army Depot (TEAD), a subordinate activity of the Industrial Operations Command in Rock Island, Illinois. These missions include Ammunition Operations; Ammunition Equipment Design and Development; and Rail Shop Maintenance and on-site support. Additionally, base operations support is provided to activities and tenants. Ammunition storage capabilities at TEAD are one of the largest in the United States. TEAD is one of four Tier I ammunition depots which receive, store, issue, renovate, modify, maintain and destroy conventional munitions for all Department of Defense services. TEAD is the Western Region Tier I Ammunition Depot.

In addition to the three main mission areas, Tooele Army Depot provides base operations support for TEAD, the Deseret Chemical Depot (DCD), the Tooele Chemical Demilitarization Facility (TOCDF), the Chemical Agent Munitions Disposal System (CAMDS) and their activities. Forty-two percent of US stockpile of chemical weapons and agent is stored here at the South Area of the Tooele Army Depot, approximately 12 miles from Tooele, Utah. The majority of these weapons; bombs, mines, mortar rounds, rockets, spray tanks, and artillery projectiles; are stored both with and without their explosive components. They are in earth-covered igloos in a secure storage area next to the disposal facility. The stockpile stored at Deseret Chemical Depot consists of spray tanks, cartridges, projectiles, rockets, bombs, large bulk containers, and mines containing the nerve agents GA, GB, and VX. The blister agents mustard and lewisite are stored in the stockpile as well. The storage of the depot's stockpile is overseen by the US Army Chemical and Biological Defense Command, who is charged with monitoring the storage.

The Tooele Chemical Agent Disposal Facility was the first full-scale facility in the continental United States built to destroy chemical weapons and agent. Situated on 27 acres, the Tooele Chemical Agent Disposal Facility is a state-of-the-art engineered facility with specially designed weapons handling processes, remote-controlled disposal equipment, complex control systems, and detailed procedures and training to protect the workers and the environment. More than 2,000 pieces of remote-controlled equipment are housed here. Electrical wire - 840 miles of it - winds it way through the complex. There are 33 miles of piping and 16,000 valves and instruments lining the plant. The technology used in the plant is based on years of experience and advances developed from operating the Chemical Agent Munitions Disposal System, a test facility also located at Deseret Chemical Depot, and the Johnston Atoll Chemical Agent Disposal System.

BRAC 2005

In its 2005 BRAC Recommendations, DoD recommended to close Deseret Chemical Depot, UT. It would transfer the storage igloos and magazines to Tooele Army Depot, UT. There was no additional chemical demilitarization workload slated to go to Deseret Chemical Depot. The projected date for completion of its existing workload was 2nd quarter of 2008. Because of the close proximity of Deseret Chemical Depot to Tooele Army Depot, the sophistication of the security system, the number and conditions of igloos and magazines, this recommendation would increase the storage and distribution deployment network capability at Tooele Army Depot at a minimal cost.

The total one time cost to the Department of Defense to implement this recommendation would be $4.4M. The net of all costs and savings to the Department during the implementation period would be a savings of $65.1M. Annual recurring savings to the Department after implementation would be $30.3M with a payback expected immediately. The Net present value of the costs and savings to the Department over 20 years would be a savings of $356.4M. Assuming no economic recovery, this recommendation could result in a maximum potential reduction of 391 jobs (248 direct jobs and 143 indirect jobs) over the 2006 - 2011 period in the Salt Lake City, UT metropolitan statistical area, which is less than 0.1 percent). Environmentally, surveys and consultation with the SHPO would be required to determine disposition of archaeological and historical resources. Continued management and or deed restrictions would be necessary to ensure future protection of the federally listed species. Restoration, monitoring, access control, and deed restrictions might be required for former waste management areas to prevent disturbance, health and safety risks, and/or long term release of toxins to environmental media. Restoration and monitoring of contaminated sites would likely be required after closure to prevent significant long-term impacts to the environment. This recommendation would require spending approximately $1.3M for environmental compliance activities. Deseret Chemical Depot reported approximately $66.9M in environmental restoration costs, which DoD would have a legal obligation to pay regardless of whether an installation is closed, realigned, or remains open.

    Disposal Schedule
    Construction:     1989
    Testing:          1994
    Operations:       1996
    Closure:          2004
    

    AGENT        ITEM                  QUANTITY    POUNDS
    HT-Blister   4.2-inch Cartridges    62,590     363,020
    HD-Blister   4.2-inch Cartridges       976       5,860
    HD-Blister   Ton Containers          6,398  11,383,420
    H-Blister    155mm Projectiles      54,663     699,540
    Lewisite     Ton Containers             10      25,920
    GA-Nerve     Ton Containers              2       2,820
    TGA-Nerve    Ton Containers              2       1,280
    TGB-Nerve    Ton Containers              7       6,960
    GB-Nerve     105mm Cartridges      119,400     194,620
    GB-Nerve     105mm Projectiles     679,303   1,107,260
    GB-Nerve     155mm Projectiles      89,141     579,420
    GB-Nerve     M55 Rockets            28,945     309,720
    GB-Nerve     M56 Rocket Warheads     1,056      11,300
    GB-Nerve     WETEYE Bombs              888     308,140
    GB-Nerve     750-lb. Bombs           4,463     981,860
    GB-Nerve     Ton Containers          5,709   8,598,200
    VX-Nerve     155mm Projectiles      53,216     319,300
    VX-Nerve     8-inch Projectiles          1          20
    VX-Nerve     Mines                  22,690     238,240
    VX-Nerve     M55 Rockets             3,966      39,660
    VX-Nerve     M56 Rocket Warheads     3,560      35,600
    VX-Nerve     Spray Tanks               862   1,168,880
    VX-Nerve     Ton Containers            640     910,960
    




NEWSLETTER
Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list