U.S. Army dumped heaps of chemical weapons in Davy Jones’ locker

Between 1944 and 1970, the U.S. Army secretly dumped about 64 million pounds of chemical warfare agents, plus over 400,000 mustard-gas-filled munitions, off several state shores — and more than that in the waters around 11 other nations. A fair amount of the dumping took place right after the end of World War II, when the Army needed to divest of a lot of spare chemical munitions. A two-part investigation by Virginia’s Daily Press reveals that the Army doesn’t know where most of these dump sites are, whether the munitions are leaking, or what effect they may be having on the environment or fishers. The situation is “a disaster looming — a time bomb,” says Gert Harigel, a physicist and expert on chemical weapons. “The scientific community knows very little about it. It scares me a lot.”