The Washington Demilitarization Company’s closure project on Johnston Atoll in 2003 marked the end of an era: Over 30 years after the redefinition of the island’s military strategy as a chemical weapons stockpile and disposal site, the last steps of demilitarization were being completed. Northwest Demolition was selected to demolish the Chemical Agent Disposal Facility, a selective process that also involved the removal of a number of support structures, including the onsite laboratory, pipe chases, and maintenance facilities.
Upon early completion, Northwest Demolition was contracted to continue demolition activities on the adjacent Munitions Demilitarization Building. The destruction of both facilities yielded more than 8,500 tons of scrap metal, including some 2,700 tons of munitions, that were removed from island and delivered to appropriate recycling facilities.
The following year, Northwest Demolition returned to the Atoll to perform hazardous waste removal, which involved the extraction of approximately 8,000 tons of hazardous coral soil for disposal at mainland landfills. The remote nature of the Atoll, some 825 miles Southwest of Hawaii, presented additional challenges: Northwest Demolition had to mobilize all equipment and materials, as well as coordinate logistics– including transportation, accomodations, communications, and medical support– for the two month project.
Both projects required the use of dedicated onsite safety, management, and environmental staff, and together demonstrate Northwest Demolition’s ability to successfully coordinate and implement complex work processes with remote location restrictions.