The United States began to research, produce and store chemical
weapons during World War I. Mustard gas was the first chemical weapon
until the 1940s. During the 1950s and early ‘60s, the production
of chemical weapons greatly increased. They were, and continue to
be, stockpiled at eight continental storage depots and on Kalama
Atoll in the Pacific.
The four stockpiled chemical agents are:
By 1968, production of unitary chemical weapons in the United States
had stopped and the Army was disposing of the obsolete weapons by
deep ocean dumping, land burial and open-pit burning.
These methods were banned subsequently. In 1969, a National Academy
of Science study concluded that ocean dumping should be abandoned
and in 1972 Congress passed the Marine Protection Act, which prohibited
any further ocean disposal.
Between 1973 and 1982, the Army researched neutralization technologies.
In 1982, the Army adopted incineration as the preferred technology
for chemical weapons disposal.
The first incinerator was built on the Kalama Atoll in the Pacific
to dispose of chemical weapons that had been shipped there in 1971
Source: “Chemical Weapons Disposal and Environmental Justice”
by Suzanne Marshall.)