Chemical Weapons

Northwest News Network

HERMISTON, Ore. – It's almost done. For 70 years the Umatilla Chemical Depot has stored deadly weapons of one kind or another. That very real danger has always been in the background of the nearby northeast-Oregon community of Hermiston.

But the base also provided a home for families, jobs and stability for the region’s economy, some of which will be lost after the last truckload of mustard agent roared toward the incinerator on Thursday.

Sam Beebe / Flickr

The U.S. Army says its contractors have quickened the pace of weapons incineration at the Umatilla Chemical Depot. Fewer than 400 ton-sized containers of deadly liquid mustard agent remain at the northeast Oregon site.