Contact: Leanne Quinn, Chemical Weapons Convention Coalition Program Assistant, (202) 463-8270 x106
In 1990, on the heels of the Cold War, the United States possessed the world's second largest chemical weapons arsenal after Russia, consisting of more than 31,500 U.S. tons (28,577 MT) of lethal chemical agents and munitions.
Following years of bilateral talks with Russia and multilateral negotiations in the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva on chemical weapons disarmament, the United States decided in 1986 to take unilateral action to begin the destruction of its chemical weapons stockpile. The demilitarization effort was prompted by Congressional legislation (Public Law 99-145) calling for the safe destruction of the United States’ stockpile of nonbinary lethal chemical agents and related facilities.
Since transport of chemical weapons was highly contentious - and was later outright banned by Congress in 1994 (50 U.S. Code 1512a) - the U.S. Army's chemical weapons destruction plan relied on destruction facilities located at the nine U.S. chemical weapons depots in Anniston, Alabama; Pine Bluff, Arkansas; Pueblo, Colorado; Newport, Indiana; Richmond, Kentucky; Edgewood, Maryland; Umatilla, Oregon; Tooele, Utah; and Johnston Atoll. Dustruction efforts began at the first destruction facility, Johnston Atoll, in 1990.
By 1997, when the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction (also known as the Chemical Weapons Convention or the CWC) entered into force, the United States had destroyed only 1,434 MTs of its chemical agents and munitions. As a member state of the CWC, the United States committed to the destruction of its remaining chemical weapons inventory.
The chart below summarizes the types and quanties of chemical weapons that were once in the U.S. chemical weapons stockpile, including the agents and munitions that have already been destroyed. To date, all chemical agents and munitions stored at Aberdeen, Anniston, Johnston Atoll, Newport, Pine Bluff, and Tooele have been eliminated; the Pueblo (Colorado) and Blue Grass (Kentucky) destruction facilities are still operational.
The data are drawn from the records published by the Program Manager for Chemical Demilitarization and the U.S. Army Chemical Materials Agency in 1996, 2000, 2011, and 2012.
As of April 15 2022, there are 646.7 U.S. tons of chemical agents and munitions left to be destroyed. Official updates on the effort to complete the destruction process at the Pueblo and Blue Grass destruction facilities are available online here.
Under the provisions of the CWC, the United States must finish destroying its remaining chemical weapons by Sept. 30, 2023.
Agent Type Key:
|GA – nerve agent, also known as Tabun
GB – nerve agent, also known as Sarin
HD – blister agent, sulfur mustard (nearly pure)
H – blister agent, sulfur mustard (20%-30% impurities
|HT – blister agent, sulfur mustard (60% HD and 40% agent T)
Lewisite – blister agent, the central atom is arsenic
VX – nerve agent
Quantity and Type of Former U.S. Chemical Agents and Munitions by Stockpile Location
|Storage Site||Agent Type||Munitions||Quantity
(number of munitions)
|Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland||HD||ton containers||1,818||Apr 23, 2003||Feb 2006|
|Anniston Army Depot, Alabama||HT||4.2-inch cartridges||183,552||Aug 9, 2003||Sep 22, 2011|
|GB||M56 rocket warheads||260|
|Blue Grass Army Depot, Kentucky||HD||155mm projectiles||15,492||Jun 7, 2019||Sept 30, 2023|
|Johnston Atoll||HD||155mm projectiles||5,779||Jun 30, 1990||Nov 29, 2000|
|GB||MK 94 bombs||2,570|
|Newport Chemical Depot, Indiana||VX||ton containers||1,690||May 5, 2005||Aug 8, 2008|
|Pine Bluff Arsenal, Arkansas||HT||ton containers||3,591||Mar 28, 2005||Nov 12, 2010|
|GB||M56 rocket warheads||178|
|VX||M56 rocket warheads||26|
|Pueblo Army Depot, Colorado||HT||4.2-inch cartridges||20,384||Sep 7, 2016||Sept 30, 2023|
|Tooele Army Depot, Utah||H||155mm projectiles||54,663||Aug 22, 1996||Jan 21, 2012|
|GB||M56 rocket warheads||1,056|
|GB||155 mm projectiles||89,142|
|VX||M56 rocket warheads||3,560|
|Umatilla Depot Activity, Oregon||H||ton containers||2,635||Sep 7, 2004||Oct 25, 2011|
The data on this chart was sourced from the archived websites of the Program Manager for Chemical Demilitarization (June 24, 1997, Oct. 1, 2000) and the U.S. Army Chemical Materials Agency (Sept. 22, 2011; Feb. 6, 2012).