At the Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant (PCAPP), it takes a village to operate the plant in an environmentally-compliant manner.
The plant is staffed with civil, chemical, industrial, structural, mechanical and environmental permitting engineers, as well as hydrology and agronomy scientists. “Each discipline has developed a regulatory area of specialization and an area of secondary support to provide coverage and backup on the environmental regulations that are applicable to PCAPP operations,” said Paul Warbington, Bechtel Pueblo Team environmental manager. “Engineering and science backgrounds enable the staff to provide a link between the legalese of the regulations and the physical operations of the plant.”
Air emission and pollution prevention regulations are interpreted for the plant by mechanical and chemical engineers, who also author permit applications for systems that generate air emissions. Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) regulations that govern the construction and operation of the plant, the neutralization of the chemical agents and the water treatment activities, are managed by chemical, civil, and mechanical engineers, and the scientists. Each has expertise in specialized process areas of the plant. Stormwater runoff and protection of the runoff areas from petroleum and plant pollution falls into the hands of chemical and civil engineers.
“Members of the permitting staff are stationed in close proximity to one another and share in decision making and problem solving,” said Warbington. “This provides a depth in defense for the permitting department and makes use of various professional experiences to resolve permitting and compliance challenges.”