Military seeks $550M to destroy chemical weapons
Denver (AP) - The Defense Department has asked for $550 million next year to destroy chemical weapons stored in Colorado and Kentucky, more than double the amount the military expected to seek.
The Pentagon's 2010 budget request was announced Thursday. The Army had earlier estimated it would seek $250 million.
Colorado Democratic Sen. Mark Udall says the request is enough to put the military on track to destroy all 2,600 tons of mustard agent stored at the pueblo chemical depot by the 2017 congressional deadline.
Mustard agent, sometimes called mustard gas, is highly toxic and can cause severe skin and lung inflammation, cancer and birth defects.
The Army also stores mustard agent and other chemical weapons at the Blue Grass Army Depot in Richmond, Ky.
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