Depot hopes to resume mustard burn this month. - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Depot hopes to resume mustard burn this month.

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Umatilla, OR- The Army hopes to resume burning the stockpile of mustard chemical agents at the Umatilla Chemical Depot later this month.

Workers at the incinerator completed trial burns a week ago.

Once the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality gives the green light, workers will start moving the one-ton containers through the furnaces.

Public Affairs Director Jim Hackett says the Army hopes to pick up the pace and have the entire stockpile of mustard agent destroyed by the end of next year or early 2012. 

"But we don't want to rush and have any kind of accident or problems at the plant affecting our workers," Hackett says. "So we're going to proceed with caution, with perseverance, and with a lot of effort on behalf of our employees."

  Hackett says workers have destroyed nearly two-thousand tons of chemical agent stockpiled at the depot, with another two-thousand tons remaining before the job is finished.