Veolia explains chemical disposal process

Veolia Environmental in Port Arthur is the only company in America chosen to help destroy part of Syria's 1,200-ton surrendered chemical weapons stockpile.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is heeding the process and Veolia, along with a company in Finland, beat out 14 other bidders for the job. Veolia invited 12 News HD on a private tour, to explain how they plan to safely destroy chemicals that could have been used to make weapons in Syria.

The company's Gulf Coast General Manager Mitch Osborne said the process is no different than the 500,000 pounds of waste they destroy each day.

"This is a good project for us to contribute to, to manage these unused chemicals at our facility because it's what we do day in day out," Osborne said.

Osborne said most importantly, no harm will be done to the community.

"My employees live here, I live here," he said. "We take very seriously the safety of our employees, we also take very seriously the safety of the people that live and work around us."

The chemicals are expected to arrive from Syria by ship in two to six months. After they arrive, the two part destruction process will begin with the waste being injected into a rotating kiln at 1,500 degrees.

In the second phase, the solid waste is disposed of and the generated gas goes through an air pollutions control system at 2,100 degrees before the combustion is completed.

The effects may be minimal in the U.S. but the impact in Syria will be substantial. The crisis in Syria has resulted in 140,000 deaths, with over 7,000 of them children.

"I think it's not only a positive impact on the Syrian people, but it's also a positive impact on the rest of the world," Osborne said.


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