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Release Date: 5/3/1995
Contact Information: Lois Grunwald, U.S. EPA, (415) 744-1588

   (San Francisco)-- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
(U.S. EPA) today announced that it has approved a modification to
the U.S. Army's existing Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
(RCRA) permit for its JACADS facility (Johnston Atoll Chemical
Agent Disposal System).

     The approved modification to the permit deletes a permit
condition that restricts operation of the facility to five years.
The modification will allow the U.S. Army to continue to operate
the facility until the U.S. EPA acts on the Army's request for a
new permit. The Army submitted its request for a new permit in
February 1995 of this year, and the U.S. EPA expects to make a
decision on it within a year. The current permit expires on
August 30, 1995.

    The five-year permit condition is atypical for a RCRA
incineration permit. It is not unusual for a facility to continue
operating while a new permit is being considered.

     The modification does not change the conditions which limit
the amount of weapons to be destroyed at JACADS. It also does not
change how the weapons will be destroyed or the operating
conditions which the facility must meet.

     "The current permit is protective of human health and the
environment, and the Army must continue to abide by the
requirements of this permit while a new one is being considered,"
said Jeffrey Zelikson, U.S. EPA's regional hazardous waste
management division director. "Our approval of the modification
is consistent with similar federal permits."

     The U.S. EPA is fully committed to providing another
opportunity for the public to comment during the review of the
JACADS permit application. In addition to holding a public
hearing, a workshop will be held this summer to provide an
information exchange between the regulating agencies and the
public about the JACADS facility and other operations at Johnston
Atoll. The permit renewal application is currently available for
comment. This information can be obtained from U.S. EPA's Pacific
Islands Contact Office at (808) 541-2710.

     JACADS operates a disposal system for the thermal treatment
of chemical agents and munitions by incineration and a storage
area for chemical munitions and generated hazardous wastes.

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