Colorado

Sep 29, 2010 3:21 PM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Army trims estimate on chem weapons to be blown up

The Army now says it plans to use explosives to destroy as many as 38,000 mustard agent shells at the Pueblo Chemical Depot, down slightly from 40,000 it estimated earlier.

Kevin Flamm, who oversees plans to destroy the shells, gave the new estimate on Tuesday. He's in Colorado to meet with Pueblo community leaders.

Plans call for neutralizing most of the depot's 780,000 shells with water and bacteria. Shells unsuitable for that process because of damage or safety issues will be exploded in closed chambers.

Flamm says 40,000 was a rough estimate arrived at by rounding up. He says the final tally could be lower than 38,000, but officials want to make sure their environmental reviews are based on the highest possible number.

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