Two workers in demilitarization protective ensemble (DPE) perform maintenance work in an area of the Newport Chemical
Agent Disposal Facility where chemical agent may be present. The DPE provides the highest level of protection against
agent exposure. To further ensure worker safety, personnel in DPE work in pairs.
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The Newport Chemical Depot (NECD), opened in 1941 as the Wabash River Ordnance Works, was one of nine Army installations in the United States that stored chemical weapons.
Various warfare materials, including chemical agent, were manufactured at the site. In the late 1960's the United States stopped production and shipment of chemical agent and weapons.
When production ended at NECD, the Army had approximately four percent of the nation's original chemical agent stockpile to safely store. The depot stored only one chemical—nerve agent VX.
The agent was stored in sturdy steel ton containers; there were no chemical munitions at the depot. The Newport Chemical Agent Disposal Facility (NECDF) was designed for the sole purpose of destroying the chemical agent stored at NECD.
Construction of the NECDF was completed in June 2003. Agent destruction operations began in May 2005 and completed in August 2008. NECDF’s permit was officially closed in January 2010.
In response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the Army made a decision to accelerate the neutralization schedule for the agent stored at the depot. The Army worked with state
regulators, local and national elected officials and federal agencies like the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in implementing the
accelerated neutralization plan. This partnership continued through closure of the facility and depot. The disposal facility used a chemical neutralization process to break down the
chemical agent. Neutralization will also be used at two Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives disposal sites.
In addition, demolition of the former chemical weapons production facility located at NECD was completed in July 2006. The U.S. Army Non-Stockpile Chemical Materials Project
completed destruction of all chemical weapons production facilities in the United States in December 2006. International treaty required the destruction of all former chemical weapons products facilities. Demolition of the former chemical agent production facility at
the NECD, which produced the U.S. stockpile of the chemical nerve agent VX, began in 1998 by the Non-Stockpile Chemical Materiel Project. Demolition of the flare tower, a depot landmark, took place on August 5, 2003.
Safety and Security
The safety of workers, the public and the environment are paramount to the success of the chemical weapons disposal mission. The U.S. Army Chemical Materials Activity (CMA) oversees the secure storage of chemical munitions to ensure that they are safe.
NECDF and the NECD were closed in accordance with strict internal policies and procedures and federal laws and regulations. The 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 Army held a Deactivation Ceremony in June 2010 signifying that all activities required for closure of the NECD had been successfully completed. In preparation for closure, the Newport Chemical Depot Reuse Authority (NECDRA) was created to complete a reuse master plan for the NECD. NECDRA and its consultant team worked with the local community to create a plan and implementation strategy for the conversion of the depot to civilian use. NECDRA's Web site is the primary source for information about the reuse master plan project. For updates, schedules, providing feedback and more, visit http://www.necdra.com.
Army Hands over Depot Control in Ceremony [275KB pdf]
6/17/2010 Newport, IN - The U.S. Army held a Deactivation Ceremony as a sign all activities required to close the Newport Chemical Depot (NECD) have been successfully completed.
NECDF Ton Container Line [663KB pdf]
11/4/2009 Newport, IN - During chemical agent destruction operations at the Newport Chemical Agent Disposal Facility (NECDF), carbon steel containers, often referred to as ton containers or "TCs," containing chemical agent VX will be moved from the depot's high-security storage
Agent Disposal Process [1,265KB pdf]
11/4/2009 Newport, IN - The Agent Disposal Process uses chemical neutralization technology.