Depot detects trace of mustard chemical agent vapor

UMATILLA CHEMICAL DEPOT, Hermiston, Ore. - A depot chemical operations monitoring crew detected trace amounts of HD mustard chemical agent vapor today inside a depot storage structure housing bulk containers.

The trace of mustard chemical agent vapor was detected during routine monitoring.

The storage structure, commonly called an igloo, has a "passive" filtration system that prevents chemical agent vapor from escaping outside the structure. However, as a further protective measure, a powered filtration system has been installed. The leaking container will be identified, inspected and decontaminated.

Even though the readings are so low they are not harmful to the public or the environment, depot officials notify the public when such incidents occur. They also notify off-post emergency operations centers in Umatilla and Morrow counties, Ore., Benton County, Wash., those in Oregon and Washington states, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.