The Department of Defense today announced newly declassified information on
the United States stockpile of chemical weapons awaiting destruction at eight
sites in the United States and one site on Johnston Atoll in the Pacific Ocean.
Release of the information is another example of U.S. openness in the area of
chemical weapons and underscores the U.S. commitment to eliminating chemical
weapons worldwide. Declassification of this information will support the
planning, execution, and oversight of the destruction of U.S. chemical
"As President Clinton said in his State of the Union message last year, the
United States must lead the charge to eliminate chemical weapons," Secretary of
Defense Perry said today. "Prompt ratification and entry into force of the
multilateral Chemical Weapons Convention is critical to achieving this
objective. Our citizens and those of our friends and allies will be safer in a
world in which chemical weapons have been banned. The CWC is vital to our
security, and we need it now."
Declassification of this stockpile information is a major step toward reaching
the goal of eliminating chemical weapons. Declassification of this information
will not compromise the security, emergency procedures, or the environmental
and safety standards that currently exist at the stockpile sites. In fact, it
will help facilitate the safe and secure destruction of U.S. chemical weapons
and preparations for CWC implementation.
The U.S. chemical weapons stockpile consists of 30,599.55 tons of unitary
(single component) agent and 680.19 tons of binary components. Specific
information on the type and number of items and tonnage stored at each site is
shown on the attached stockpile lists. Changes will occur as chemical weapons
are destroyed at chemical demilitarization facilities.
Declassifying chemical weapons stockpile information will allow local
citizens, citizen's advisory groups, state and federal regulators, contractors,
and others involved in the chemical weapons destruction process access to more
specific chemical weapons stockpile data. This will both save money and gain
For many years this stockpile of chemical weapons served as an effective
the use of such weapons by others against our armed forces. With the end of
the Cold War and advances in global disarmament, this deterrent stockpile is no
longer needed nor does its composition and location require secrecy.
"Providing this information to the public, particularly in the communities
weapons are stored, will provide a better basis for informed discussion
concerning their current storage and destruction," said Army Maj. Gen. Robert
D. Orton, Program Manager for Chemical Demilitarization, Aberdeen Proving
The Army, under Congressional mandate to destroy the stockpile by 2004, has
operating destruction facility at Johnston Atoll in the Pacific Ocean. To
date, the Johnston facility has successfully destroyed through incineration
more than two million pounds of nerve and mustard agent, which represents
of the total stockpile of agent stored on the island. More than 72,000 M-
rockets, 45,000 projectiles, 3,000 bombs, and 134 one-
containers have been destroyed there. Another destruction facility will begin
operating at Tooele, Utah, in the next few months.
Destruction at the seven other sites is scheduled to begin over the next few
sites are Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.; Anniston Army Depot, Ala.; Blue Grass
Ky.; Newport Army Ammunition Plant, Ind.; Pine Bluff Arsenal, Ark.; Pueblo Army
Activity, Colo.; and Umatilla Depot Activity, Ore. In addition to
incineration, the Army continues to research and evaluate alternative methods
of destruction for the disposal of the chemical agents at the bulk-only
stockpile storage sites.
In addition to the chemical weapons stockpile, several sites have other
chemical items that are not part of the stockpile. These items contain what
are referred to as non-stockpile and chemical defensive research agents.
Information on quantities of these items is not classified and is being
provided as part of this release to give U.S. citizens a complete picture of
the total tonnage of agent in the U.S. chemical weapons inventory.
For more information, contact Bryan Whitman, Department of Defense Public
Capt. Joseph Piek, Army Public Affairs, (703) 697-
Ms. Jan Finegan, Army Materiel Command Public Affairs, (703) 617-0126, or Ms.
Suzanne Fournier, Program Manager Chemical Demilitarization Public Affairs,