The Umatilla Chemical Depot (UMCD) is located in both Umatilla and Morrow Counties in eastern Oregon, approximately 170 miles east of Portland, Oregon and 35 miles from the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR). The September 2005 Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission "Report to the President" (Commission Report) recommended UMCD closure on the completion of the chemical demilitarization mission in accordance with the Chemical Weapons Convention Treaty obligations. The Installation Command projects this action would result in the estimated loss of 1,154 jobs (341 Defense civilian and 813 contractor employees).
On November 14, 2008 the Department of the Army issued a surplus determination indicating that 17,055 acres of fee simple property and 2,674 acres of easements, for a total of 19,729 acres of property, would be available for redevelopment. The Army issued the surplus determination in November 2008 based on the understanding that the UMCD closure will fall within the BRAC 2005 timeline and authorities. The Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) recognized the Umatilla Army Depot Reuse Authority (UMADRA) as the planning Local Redevelopment Authority (LRA) in January 2009. The LRA comprises representatives from the Port of Morrow, the Port of Umatilla, Umatilla and Morrow Counties, the CTUIR, and two ex-officio State representatives.
The multi-jurisdictional LRA has worked to balance environmental protection and economic pursuits. Early in the planning process, the LRA agreed on a vision that the redevelopment plan would accommodate three overarching goals of economic development, environmental preservation, and military reuse.
The LRA’s Redevelopment Plan and Homeless Assistance Submission was approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in October 2010. Two homeless services providers will receive personal property and lease some storage space as part of the approved plan. The approved Redevelopment Plan calls for the following land uses: Agriculture (655 acres), Wildlife Refuge (5,613 acres), Military Training (7,421 acres), Highway Commercial Industrial (1,077), Interstate Corridor (91 Acres), Industrial Restricted (942 acres), and Industrial Unrestricted (1,115 acres).
The LRA is considering an Economic Development Conveyance for approximately 3,000 acres in the southern part of the installation. In May/June 2011, the Army announced that property disposal would not fall under BRAC rules if the Chemical Depot’s mission is not completed by September 15, 2011. The Depot's chemical demilitarization mission is scheduled to be completed in November 2011. The Army announcement caused community concerns, and the LRA is subsequently seeking Congressional legislation for the closure to remain under BRAC authorities.
For more information the challenges this community faced, click here.