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Chemicals from Syria arrive in Port Arthur for destruction - 12 News KBMT and K-JAC. News, Weather and Sports for SE Texas

Chemicals from Syria arrive in Port Arthur for destruction

Posted:
PORT ARTHUR - A ship carrying industrial chemicals used in the manufacture of chemical weapons has arrived from Syria in Port Arthur.  The chemicals, precursor industrial chemicals from the Syrian stockpile, are bound for Veolia Enthronement North America's Port Arthur facility to be destroyed.  

The company was selected by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to treat and dispose of hazardous materials associated with the Syrian Chemical Weapons Elimination Program.

The materials that Veolia will destroy are not chemical weapons - they are standard commercial industrial chemicals that had been earmarked for use for the Syrian program but were never used and simply remained in storage.

A spokesperson for Veolia said the citizens of Port Arthur and Southeast Texas should know that the materials being destroyed are standard commercial industrial chemicals transported and widely used across the United States every day. The chemicals are also consistent with the industrial materials Veolia manages each day.

STATEMENT ISSUED BY VEOLIA:

Statement regarding support of the OPCW program for destroying materials related to Syria’s chemical weapons program

The employees of Veolia North America are proud to support the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons program. This program is receiving strong support from the United States government, especially because of its humanitarian mission. 

The materials that Veolia will destroy are quite simply standard commercial industrial chemicals that were earmarked for use in the Syrian program, stored in bulk and never used. Every day, these chemicals are transported and widely used across the United States. 

OPCW inspectors and state and federal environmental officials will monitor the destruction of the material on a regular and routine basis.  A Unified Command has been established to oversee the shipment of these precursor chemicals associated with the Syrian Chemical Weapons Elimination Program. The Unified Command consists of federal, state and local agencies including the U.S. Coast Guard, Port of Port Arthur, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Texas Department of Emergency Management, City of Port Arthur, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and EPA, along with Veolia. This multi-agency partnership was established to ensure the safety of local citizens and protection of the environment during transportation of the chemicals to Port Arthur by ship and eventual transportation to the Veolia facility where final destruction will take place.    

Veolia manages hazardous and toxic wastes for governmental and industrial clients with great care and proven technical, operational and management processes. For Veolia employees, this is business as usual and we are proud to have a role in this important international security program.

As the world’s largest environmental company, we are committed to protecting the planet’s natural resources for future generations. Ensuring the health, safety, and welfare of our employees and the public is our highest priority, and guaranteeing environmental compliance and sustainable solutions is core to our values. 
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