A sign that Deseret Chemical Depot is nearing the end of a daunting task, the U.S. Army Chemical Materials Agency announced Thursday that EG&G Defense Materials Inc. will take over "closure work" next spring at the depot's Chemical Agent Munitions Disposal System in Tooele County.

"They want everything under one umbrella," DCD spokeswoman Tamra Peterson said about the agency's move.

Peterson said the decision to switch next year to EG&G had nothing to do with the performance of current system contractor Tennessee Valley Authority.

Rather, the change is so the Army can reduce the number of contractors it deals with nearer to DCD's expected 2012 closure date, Peterson said. Upon closure EG&G also will be in charge of facility decontamination and demolition.

The system develops and tests new technology for demilitarization and disposal of the depot's chemical munitions stockpile. The nearby Tooele Chemical Agent Disposal Facility at the depot is obligated by international treaty to actually incinerate the stockpile by 2012. TOCDF is already operated under contract with EG&G.

Disposal operations at DCD began in 1996 and have included incinerating tons of deadly nerve and blister agents such as GB, VX and Lewisite.