SJEJA Project: Nerve Gas

No VX Nerve Agent for New Jersey – First Environmental Victory for 2007
By Gina Carola, NJ Sierra Club, Delaware River Issues Coordinator

On January 5, DuPont of Deepwater NJ announced that the company was no longer pursuing the award of a contract from the U.S. Army to dispose of VX nerve gas hydrolysate, a by-product of the process of destroying stockpiles that are currently stored in Newport, Indiana. In announcing the decision, a DuPont spokesperson noted that the lengthy, arduous approval process and public opposition brought them to the conclusion that it would be in the best interests of New Jersey and DuPont not to proceed. This victory did not come easily. Three years ago, when DuPont and the Army reached an agreement to ship the VX nerve agent from Indiana across several states to New Jersey for treatment, our Sierra Club Chapter joined with Delaware Riverkeeper, Green Delaware and Concerned Indiana Residents, and other groups, to defeat the project. Congressman Rob Andrews, D- NJ 1st Congressional District, was the first elected official to jump in to help the opposition and defend NJ’s environment and the health of the Delaware River eco-system. Congressmen Saxton and LoBiondo soon joined forces along with then-Senator Corzine. Our extreme gratitude goes out to these elected officials and to all who wrote a letter, made a phone call, attended a hearing or kept their friends and neighbors informed.

(The Jersey Sierran, Vol 36, No. 2, April-June 2007, page 2)

Update: Campaign to Block VX Nerve Gas Disposal in NJ
Thanks to the coordinated effort of environmental activists the U.S. Army’s plan to bring the deadly VX nerve agent to South Jersey for treatment is on hold. 14 organizations from four states were represented at an event in Deepwater, NJ where they spoke about the unnecessary risks of transporting the hydrolysate to treat it in New Jersey, and why destroying the hydrolysate safely in Indiana – as the Army had originally planned – is the better option. Support of three members of the New Jersey’s congressional delegation aided in delaying the Army’s plan. (See Jul-Sept 2006 issue of the Sierran for details on this project)

Congressmen Rob Andrews, D-Haddon Heights, Jim Saxton, R-Mount Holly, and Frank LoBiondo, R-Ventnor have prevailed in their efforts to attach an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that will delay the transport of the VX nerve agent until the Congressional General Accounting Office has had a chance to study the proposal. The GAO is a bipartisan, investigative arm of Congress.

>>> read more in The Jersey Sierran (Jan-Mar 07) by Gina Carola, Sierra Club, Delaware Issues Coordinator

Nerve Agent to be shipped to Deepwater, NJ

April 6, 2006.
Groups from 5 states unite in joint press events in Indiana and New Jersey, to oppose the U.S. Army’s plan to ship nerve agent hydrolysate form the Newport Army Depot in Indiana to a DuPont facility in Deepwater, New Jersey.  >>> FULL STORY