Environmental Protection

French Award Chemical Weapon Destruction Contract to IES

The French Ministry of the Interior (MOI) has awarded Integrated Environmental Services, (IES), an Atlanta-based company, a contract to design and build equipment capable of destroying chemical munitions used during World War I.

IES was selected to execute a two-phase effort that will result in delivery of an innovative transportable system capable of processing 5-10 munitions per day using its patented container accessing technology. The project is expected to last approximately 1.5 years and entails both a design and fabrication/testing/training phase that will be done in close coordination with the French government.

This contract addresses those munitions that have been collected throughout France over the past 95 years from former battlefields. Over 66 million chemical rounds were fired by English, French, and German forces during World War 1 while a full 20 to 25 percent of these shells did not detonate and remained buried where they fell. Tons of these munitions, containing mustard agent, phosgene and other chemical agents, are recovered every year by farmers during spring planting season and during civil construction projects. Recovered shells are carefully transported and stored at secure depots. Most of the old shells currently in storage are very deteriorated and pose a serious leakage and explosive hazard.

“We feel very honored at our selection to spearhead this project,” noted IES president Jeff Gold. “Adapting our existing processing technologies to handle these weapons allows us to design and deploy the equipment in a very cost-effective and timely manner.”

Under the contract, IES will provide three transportable "modules" including an enclosed processing module, a control/laboratory module, and a supplies and logistics module. Warfare agents extracted from the shells are chemically neutralized onsite or stabilized for disposal at commercial waste management facilities. The system will be stationed at a military reservation in northeast France but is designed for transport and use in other areas.

IES is an innovative technical leader in the on-site management of waste compressed gas cylinders, radioactive materials, and chemical/biological weapons operating for more than 20 years. The company has more than 30 patents and conducts field operations throughout the world.

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