Since the 1980s, Bechtel has had an active role in U.S. and international chemical demilitarization projects in the United States and elsewhere. We have studied, designed, and constructed chemical neutralization and digestion facilities as well as built operating facilities for the U.S. Department of Defense.
Though never used by the United States, chemical weapons were stockpiled at a number of U.S. Army bases during and after World War II. In 1985, the U.S. Congress decided that the time had come to turn the aging weapons into a harmless part of history.
Bechtel led the team that successfully completed the first destruction of a chemical weapons stockpile at a continental U.S. military site, the Aberdeen Proving Ground. The stockpile included 1,817 steel canisters, each containing almost a ton of liquid-form mustard agent. Following September 11, 2001, the U.S. Army asked Bechtel to develop a strategy to accelerate disposal of all mustard agent at Aberdeen. We met the new elimination schedule through safe and innovative approaches and strategies. The final container was emptied and treated in 2005.