By Frank Lockwood

Staff writer

HERMISTON — The Department of Environmental Quality is “increasingly concerned” about the Umatilla Chemcial Depot’s ability to properly warn the public in the event of a chemical accident.

DEQ Administrator Wayne Thomas told the Umatilla Chemical Depot command about the department’s concerns in a letter this summer.

To meet permit requirements, those in charge at Umatilla Chemical Agent Disposal Facility must be able to warn the public quickly and accurately in the event of a chemical accident.

The letter said Thomas based his concerns on reviews of annual exercises. “The deviations made by the analyst resulted in an underestimate of the plume extent,” he wrote. (For the full story please read the Oct. 2, 2001 issue of the Hermiston Herald.)

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