Army to discuss mustard-agent disposal with Aberdeen Proving Ground neighbors

Funding, scheduling focus of two meetings

April 15, 2002|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

The Army will meet with residents of Harford and Kent counties this week to outline progress on the accelerated mustard-agent disposal project at Aberdeen Proving Ground.

The project was dealt a setback last month after a $96 million funding request was passed over in President Bush's supplemental budget.

The meetings, scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday, originally had been set to discuss the Army's contract with DuPont's Chamber Works plant in Deepwater, N.J., to dispose of wastewater created by the hot-water neutralization process.

"Now as it turns out, it looks like we'll be talking about funding and changes to the schedule," said Katherine B. DeWeese, spokeswoman for the Aberdeen Chemical Agent Disposal Facility. She added that the DuPont contract has not been signed.

DeWeese said the project contractor Bechtel Aberdeen has cut one construction shift and overtime. Plans to hire 175 neutralization plant operators have been put on hold, she said. Bechtel is building four temperature-controlled igloos instead of the eight originally planned to thaw the agent during cold weather, she said.

Wednesday's meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. at Edgewood Senior Center, 1000 Gateway Road in Edgewood. Thursday's will be at 6:30 p.m. at Chestertown Middle School, 402 E. Campus Ave. in Chestertown.

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