The U.S. Army is preparing for cleanup operations at Alabama’s Redstone Arsenal, where an estimated 17 sites contain chemical weapons buried after the end of World War II, according to news site Alabama. The work is expected to take decades and cost more than $520 million.
Past studies from the EPA and Alabama Department of Environmental Management have identified solvents, metals and pesticides on the arsenal’s 38,125 acres. The first step in the cleanup is an initial field assessment. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is assisting by analyzing sediment and water samples, as well as taking air quality samples.
Built in 1941, Redstone Arsenal produced small arms and chemical ammunition, such as dynamite. Demilitarization efforts at the end of World War II led to the reduction of munitions surpluses, with the majority of weapons disposed through burning or burying in trenches.
Image: Redstone Arsenal building 7101 (Credit: U.S. Army, via Wikimedia Commons)