Colorado

Sep 14, 2010 4:14 PM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Army cuts back plan to blow up Pueblo chemical arms

The Army is cutting back on the number of mustard agent shells it wants to explode in closed chambers at the Pueblo Chemical Depot.

The Army proposes to use explosions to destroy up to 40,000 shells, down from 125,000 in an earlier plan.

The Army says data and modeling requested by the Environmental Protection Agency for the explosion plan would have meant a long delay. The purpose of the detonation plan was to speed up the process.

About 780,000 obsolete shells containing mustard agent are awaiting destruction at the depot. Most will be neutralized with water and bacteria.

The Army says shells that are leaking or damaged will be destroyed with explosives rather than neutralized.

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