Umatilla Chemical Agent Disposal Facility (UMCDF)

Umatilla Chemical Agent Disposal Facility (UMCDF)

In alignment with the Geneva Protocol of 1975 and the Chemicals Weapons Conventions of 1991 the United States has been destroying its chemical weapons stockpile through incineration and neutralization at multiple facilities around the United States and its territories around the world.

The Umatilla Chemical Depot (UMCD) is a 19,728-acre military facility located in northeastern Oregon that in 1962 took on its mission to safely store chemical weapons in above ground igloos.  In 1998, the U.S. Army began the construction of the Umatilla Chemical Agent Disposal Facility (UMCDF) at UMCD.  The facility conducted demilitarization operations between 2004 and 2011, and UMCDF was subsequently decommissioned and demolished.  With all munitions destroyed, UMCD is currently slated for realignment under the Department of Defense Base Realignment and Closure program.  For over the last 15 years Akana’s principals and key staff have been involved in the Army’s chemical stockpile disposal program at UMCDF.  Our activities there are described in the following breakdown of services provided over this timeline.

Construction Certification

Akana provided construction certification monitoring, surveillance, and final acceptance certification at UMCDF between 1998 and 2003.  Key Akana staff were responsible for certifying construction of munitions handling, incineration, agent collection, spent decontamination, and pollution abatement systems permitted under a Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Permit issued by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ).  The company provided the project manager, full-time on-site support staff consisting of a construction manager, two inspectors, and two support staff, as well as professional engineers who made quarterly visits to each facility during the construction process and conducted formal inspections lasting up to 2 weeks for each assigned system at 80 and 100 percent construction completion.

As construction inconsistencies were noted by our professional engineers, we developed and issued formal findings reports to the construction contractor for resolution.  Issues identified included improper construction (such as missing or non-conforming components) and improper installation (such as failure to follow established welding or coating procedures).  Akana’s key staff also identified various design deficiencies as part of the project.  Because design review was beyond the stated scope of the company’s contract; these issues were identified to the construction contractor as informal concerns.  Akana staff worked together with U.S. Army, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, ODEQ, and construction contractor stakeholders to resolve the findings and concerns identified prior to final construction certification.

Akana submitted all system certifications to ODEQ that were accepted without comment, helping our client to maintain their critical path schedule to begin operations.

Facility Modification Certifications

As necessary process changes and major repairs were identified during the operation of UMCDF, Akana professional engineers and on-site construction quality control staff reviewed facility modification change proposals, oversaw process repairs and modifications, and prepared certifications for over 75 different changes.  These included tank repairs, process piping reconfiguration, coating repairs, weld repairs, and the installation of entire new systems.  Certification activities included confined space entries, hydrostatic test oversight, and NDE evaluation of new coatings and welds.  Many of the FMCs were completed within a short timeframe so as to not impact plant operations.

RCRA Closure Certification

Following the completion of the munitions destruction mission, Akana provided independent quality assurance oversight of the decontamination, decommissioning, and demolition of the UMCDF.  For nearly 5 years, Akana staff conducted daily inspections of the facility decontamination and demolition activities for the chemical agent process systems.  Akana staff also oversaw and reviewed all confirmatory and environmental sampling and analytical data generated to document thorough decontamination of all potentially contaminated surfaces in both the chemical agent storage igloos, waste storage igloos, and the process facility.   Finally, Akana staff oversaw the management, thermal treatment, and off-site disposal of all waste materials generated during closure.  Documentation of waste compliance involves a review of documentation container storage records, outbound manifests, certificates of disposal, or any other pertinent documentation/procedures to ensure the Permittee has complied with the above closure plan requirements.

Decontamination oversight included verification of the use of chemical decontamination solutions as well as physical (scabbling) methods to remove chemical agent contamination.  Verification of decontamination was confirmed by reviewed air monitoring testing data.

Demolition oversight included the review of waste segregation, dust control, stormwater run-off control, utility disconnection and abandonment, foundation removal, and final grading.

Akana successfully developed over 40 interim certification packages ahead of the final closure certification package that were reviewed by the client, owner, and regulator.  These early interim packages facilitated acceptance of the final closure certification by ODEQ without comment.

Project Details

US Army
Hermiston, OR

Services Rendered

  • Decommissioning
  • Chemical Weapons
  • Incinerator
  • US Army – Chemical Materials Agency
  • RCRA Closure
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