Every calculation made in the ANCDF lab is checked and rechecked by technicians to ensure the accuracy of lab reports created from readings taken from the facility.
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The Anniston Army Depot (ANAD) was one of nine Army installations in the United States that stored chemical weapons. In September, 2011,
the U.S. Army Chemical Materials Activity (CMA) completed the safe elimination of ANAD’s chemical weapons stockpile. CMA worked in partnership with Alabama state and
local government agencies, as well as federal partners 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 it stored and disposed of these chemical weapons. CMA will continue this partnership as it tests, decontaminates, and dismantles
all areas of the Anniston Chemical Agent Disposal Facility (ANCDF) that were exposed to chemical agent during the munitions destruction process. Many of the ANCDF facilities
will be razed while functional buildings never contaminated will be turned over to ANAD.
The ANAD was established for ammunition storage in 1941 as part of the war effort. Beginning in the 1950s, the depot began to increase its supply missions and to take on
industrial operations. A major new mission involved overhaul and repair of combat vehicles. The mission further expanded to include the repair, overhaul, and modification of
anti-aircraft and mobile artillery, including the tank rebuild program. Maintenance and storage of chemical weapons began in the early 1960s. The Army added missile maintenance
in the 1980s.
Since the early 1960s, the Army has safely stored approximately seven percent of the nation’s original chemical weapons stockpile at ANAD. The chemical weapons originally
stored at the depot consist of various munitions and chemical agents, containing GB or VX nerve agents or blister agent. In August 2003 CMA began disposing of these weapons at ANCDF.
In March 2006, Anniston completed destruction of GB nerve agent followed by the completion of VX nerve agent munitions in December 2008. The site completed destruction of blister
agent in September 2011, marking the complete destruction of the stockpile.
The ANCDF used high-temperature incineration technology to destroy weapons, a technology employed by the Army for more than two decades at several sites to safely and successfully dispose
of more than 80 percent of the nation's original chemical weapons.
In addition to its work at the ANAD, the CMA develops and operates mobile treatment systems for on-site treatment of recovered chemical weapons. The activity successfully treated
recovered chemical weapons at Fort McClellan and Camp Sibert in Alabama.
Safety and Security
The safety of workers, the public and the environment are paramount to the success of the chemical weapons disposal mission. CMA oversees the secure storage of chemical
munitions to ensure that they are safe.
Once munitions were slated for disposal, they were transported, treated and disposed of following strict internal processes and regulatory requirements. CMA is committed to
creating a safer tomorrow by permanently eliminating the threat of aging chemical weapons to our communities and our nation.
Public Participation and Community Relations
The Alabama Citizens' Advisory Commission, whose members include area residents appointed by the governor, was a tool for public participation in the Army's weapons storage
and disposal program in Anniston. The Commission met with CMA managers to ensure that program decisions represent the community's interest.
The Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program (CSEPP) will continue to work closely with the community and state emergency professionals
through early spring. As the U.S. Army eliminates chemical weapon stockpiles and CSEPP communities close out the program, the legacy of CSEPP best practices and lessons learned
is being transferred to all-hazards emergency preparedness.
To learn more about the Army’s chemical weapons disposal mission visit the Anniston Chemical Agent Disposal Information Center.