Radford ammunition plant "making progress" congressmen say

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PULASKI CO., Va. (WDBJ7) Two U.S. Congressmen are confident upgrades at the Radford Army Ammunition Plant will lower the plant's impact on the environment.

It was a tour to get updates on the progress made at the Radford Army Ammunition Plant. Congressmen Morgan Griffith from southwest Virginia and Rob Wittman from eastern Virginia also learned more on the footprint the arsenal has on the environment and the controversial open burning of waste area environmentalists call hazardous.

"I wish they could, in some instances, not have to do open burns but that's part of what has to happen. That's one of those areas that has to be an opportunity there for them," Wittman said.

In April, Radford Army Ammunition Plant leaders announced plans to build a seven million dollar incinerator that would handle most waste that's burned outside at the plant.

Lieutenant Colonel Alicia Masson says those plans are moving forward.

"We have invested quite a bit of money. We had a design team here last week and that team was here to begin the process of designing our new contained burn incinerator," Masson said.

She said it's been a goal at the arsenal to move away from open burning.

The controversial procedure burns what can't be processed inside the current incinerators.

"They're doing great things here. They're making progress. They're working on ways to make things cleaner everyday. I can see those changes in the time I've been in office," Griffith said.

The new incinerator could be in operation in three years.