Forty-eight years later, that marriage has been dissolved. The storage igloos at Anniston Army Depot are now empty. More than 661,000 different chemical weapons and containers are gone. Anniston’s final mustard-filled projectiles were incinerated Thursday afternoon.
What follows is a by-the-numbers look at Anniston’s marriage with chemical weapons, a marriage that now we can happily say is irrevocably broken.
Anniston’s incinerator: By the numbers
1963 — First chemical weapons are stored at Anniston Army Depot.
1975 — Last chemical weapons are delivered for storage at Anniston Army Depot.
1997 — Construction begins on Anniston’s incinerator.
Aug. 9, 2003 — Date the first chemical weapon was incinerated in Anniston.
45 minutes — How long it took workers at Anniston’s incinerator to destroy the first chemical weapon, a 6½-foot long M55 rocket filled with GB nerve agent.
300 — Approximate number of anti-incineration protestors who marched in downtown Anniston on April 18, 1994, just one of the protests held prior to the incinerator’s first day of operation.
142,428 — The number of GB munitions that have been destroyed at Anniston’s incinerator.
96,078 — The number of gallons of GB nerve agent that have been destroyed at Anniston’s incinerator.
219,374 — The number of VX-agent munitions destroyed at Anniston’s incinerator.
196,925 — The number of gallons of VX nerve agent that have been destroyed at Anniston’s incinerator.
138 — The number of storage igloos at Anniston Army Depot that have been emptied of their chemical weapons.
Sept. 8, 2011 — The date that the last chemical weapons were moved out of their storage igloo at Anniston Army Depot.
48 — The number of years Anniston Army Depot stored chemical weapons.
661,529 — The total number of nerve agent and mustard-agent rockets, land mines, projectiles, mortars and ton containers that were stored at Anniston Army Depot.
25,165 — The number of tons of chemical agents that have been incinerated at U.S. Army facilities since 1990.
2,555,210 — The number of munitions that have been incinerated at U.S. Army facilities since 1990.
Sept. 22, 2011 — The date that Anniston’s final chemical weapon was incinerated.
$2,911,500,000 — To date, the estimated amount spent on the incinerator facility at Anniston.
$445,300,000 — The estimated amount of money it will cost for closure of the Anniston incinerator.
— Sources: U.S. Army statistics; Sept. 8, 2011, Anniston Chemical Activity weekly update; Anniston Star files; interviews with U.S. Army officials.