By Frank Lockwood

Staff writer

WASHINGTON D.C. — Cost projections and timetables for disposing of chemical weapons were challenged at a U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday.

Craig Williams of chemical Weapons Working Group testified of looming cost overruns and misleading time schedules.

Afterward, the U.S. Army denied the accuracy of Wednesday’s testimony.

Army documents show that destroying the United States’ chemical weapons stockpile will require years beyond what the Army has made public, Williams said.

Army spokesman Greg Mahall, however, speaking by telephone, told The Hermiston Herald after Wednesday’s hearing that the Army’s projected schedules for chemical weapons disposal are correct.

Williams had testified that “secret” Army documents revealed that the Army hid real cost estimates, and failed to acknowledge that six of eight disposal sites would fail to meet publicized completion dates for chemical stockpiles destruction.

“Now we learn from the Army’s own document that in Oregon incineration will miss the deadline by six years and seven months, said Irrigon resident Debbie Burns. “It is outrageous that the Army would withhold this information rather than admit that ... (and) move forward with an alternative technology.” (For the full story see the May 1, 2001 issue of the Hermiston Herald.)

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