Army uses innovative technology to destroy historic munitions re - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Army uses innovative technology to destroy historic munitions recovered from Schofield Barracks range

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS (HawaiiNewsNow) - The U.S. Army will be using a state-of-the-art system to destroy 10 World War I- and World War II-era chemical munitions that were recovered from the Schofield Barracks range between 2009 and 2012.

Army officials have brought the system, known as the Explosive Destruction System, to Hawaii to destroy the historic munitions starting late April. They said it's the Army's proven technology to destroy recovered chemical munitions, providing "transportable, on-site treatment and destruction in a contained, environmentally sound manner."

"There are layers upon layers of safeguards that were built into the EDS design," said Rob Snyder, EDS site project manager. "We utilize redundant containment capabilities coupled with real-time video and air monitoring to ensure the protection of the system operators, the community and the environment."

Since its first mission in 2001, the EDS has been used to safely and successfully destroy nearly 2,000 items nationwide, according to the Army.

This is the second time the Army has brought a system to the islands to destroy recovered munitions. In 2008, the Army used a similar system to successfully destroy more than 70 munitions with the same kind of chemical fills.

The Army no longer uses these types of munitions, an official said, but it has a responsibility to safely destroy them when they find them.

Officials said the destruction will be a two-week process and that all waste will be shipped off to a permitted treatment, storage and disposal facility on the Mainland. The effort will involve Army coordination with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the state Department of Health, local emergency responders and health care providers in order to ensure safe, coordinated efforts.

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