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NO RESIDENTS ATTEND HEARING ON CHEMICAL AGENTS

No residents turned out for a hearing on the proposed Chemical Stockpile Demilitarization System at Tooele Army Depot, indicating area citizens seem "familiar with the proposal and with what's going on," said Dennis Downs of the Utah Bureau of Solid and Hazardous Waste.

Wednesday's meeting was a prelude to two public hearings set May 22 at the Salt Lake County Commission chamber and May 23 at the Tooele County Courthouse as the Army prepares to start construction next month on the $138.1 million facility.The hearings will air details of the Army's proposal and the state's permit for destruction of five chemical weapons and the explosive materials some also carry.

Connie Nakahara, permitting officer, said the state permit will require plant exhausts to contain not more than one-thousandth of 1 percent of agents destroyed within the plant in incinerators running at 2,000 degrees. The Army feels it can better that requirement by factors of 10.

The facility, all in one building, will be in a restricted area in Rush Valley, 25 miles south of Tooele. TAD stores 42.3 percent of the nation's stockpile of chemical weapons.

Destruction, beginning in 1992, will not start for each of the agents until the Army tests the facility with surrogate materials and can demonstrate it meets the required levels of efficiency.