They all are essential Blue Grass project partners and provide many resources for the safe destruction of the chemical munitions stored at the depot near Richmond, Kentucky.
The largest depot resource utilized by the Blue Grass project is security, with protective and preventive measures and around-the-clock service. The second largest is utilities. The project obtains its water from the depot’s Lake Vega, for example.
“BGAD has a long relationship with PEO ACWA and has been partners from Day One,” said Joe Elliott, the depot’s chemical demilitarization project coordinator. “We understand this is a very important project for the community, much less the world.”
The depot also provides environmental permitting oversight to the Blue Grass project. The depot is the permit owner. The Blue Grass project is the co-signer as the operator of the environmental permits. Any changes that need to be made for the construction or operation of the facility must be made through an official modification process of these permits involving both the permit owner and the permit operator.
BGCA, also a tenant on the depot, provides safe and secure storage and monitoring of the chemical weapons, and is the permit co-signer with the depot as the operator of the environmental permit for executing the storage mission. Coordination between the chemical activity and the Blue Grass project will increase as operations begin. The Chemical Limited Area, the place on the depot where the chemical munitions are stored and monitored, will be extended to encompass the part of the plant where the destruction will be taking place along with the movement and transfer of the munitions from storage to the facility. BGCA also operates a fully staffed Emergency Operations Center and maintains operational monitoring and storage of the stockpile.
“We perform monitoring operations daily and take the safety of the local residents, the stockpile and our employees very seriously,” said Lt. Col. Andrew “Jack” Morgan, BGCA commander. “Our technology can detect vapor leaks at a level that meets or exceeds that required by our permit, and our crews are outfitted and trained to respond promptly and appropriately.”
The relationships and communications between the partners will only increase the closer the Blue Grass plant progresses to operations. Working hand-in-hand, BGAD, BGCA and the Blue Grass project are committed to the goal of the safe, secure and environmentally sound destruction of the final two percent of the U.S. chemical weapons stockpile.