Feb. 13, 2008 — Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®) has been awarded a one-year subcontract by Parsons Infrastructure & Technology Inc. to perform laboratory operations for the destruction of the U.S. Army chemical stockpile stored at the Newport Chemical Depot in Newport, Ind. The contract is valued at approximately $15.6 million.
During the 1960s, the Newport Chemical Depot produced a lethal nerve agent called VX. The Newport Chemical Disposal Facility began operations in 2005 with a focus on safely destroying 4 percent of the nation's stockpile of chemical agent.
The Institute will provide 100 full-time staff members to analyze the byproducts that result from the agent destruction process and continuously monitor the air inside the plant and around its perimeter, as well as the plant's effluent, for the presence of the chemical agent VX.
Darrel Johnston, manager of the Environmental and Demilitarization Technology Department at SwRI, said the Institute's main role will be to protect the health and safety of those working at the plant and those who live in surrounding communities.
"This project fits well with the support we are providing at two other demilitarization sites," Johnston said. "The Newport Chemical Agent Disposal Facility has successfully destroyed 75 percent of the stockpile stored at the Newport Chemical Depot, and we are proud to provide the laboratory services necessary for them to complete the job this year."
The Institute has more than 25 years of experience in supporting demilitarization programs. SwRI has programs at the Umatilla Chemical Depot in Hermiston, Ore., and Pine Bluff Chemical Demilitarization Facility in Pine Bluff, Ark. The Institute has also completed a demilitarization program on Johnston Island in the Pacific with the Johnston Atoll Chemical Agent Disposal System (JACADS).
For more information contact Tracey M.S. Whelan at (210) 522-2256, Communications Department, Southwest Research Institute, PO Drawer 28510, San Antonio, TX 78228-0510.