Expecting that a proposed arms reduction treaty will result in destruction of hundreds of solid rocket motors in Utah's deserts, Sen. Jake Garn, R-Utah, wants Congress to fund research to find safer, cleaner destruction methods.
Garn, in a conference Thursday to work out differences between the House and Senate on the Defense Appropriations Bill, sought $3 million for such research.During recent debate on the bill, Garn said, "We learned some valuable lessons in 1988 about the destruction of the Pershing missiles under the Intercontinental Nuclear Forces Treaty, and we know the current method of demilitarization by open burn . . . will not be acceptable in an era of new environmental ethics."
Garn said, "We are entering the 1990s without the necessary technology to demilitarize the solid rocket motors in a safe, economical and environmentally sound manner."
Although Garn praised progress being made to reduce arms, he voiced concern that "very little attention is being paid" to demilitarizing large solid rocket motors in a safe, economical and environmentally sound manner.