Sunday, August 1, 2010
August 1, 2010 : Pacific Munitions Dump
Pacific Munitions Dump
Chemical weapons dumped in deep water five miles south of Pearl Harbor after World War II should remain at the site because moving them could pose more of a threat to people and the environment, the Army said Friday.
Records show the Army dumped 16,000 bombs at the site after the war; each of the bombs contained 73 pounds of the chemical agent mustard.
The spots where the military has dumped chemical weapons off Hawaii are too deep to normally be reached by the public. They're also marked on nautical charts and ships do not trawl in these areas.
The military's Explosives Safety Board believes the safest approach to underwater munitions is to leave them in place and to educate the public about what they should do when they find a shell. However, the board believes weapons that pose an imminent and substantial danger should be removed.
The military used the ocean as a dumping ground for munitions between 1919 and 1970.
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