In Kentucky, every facility that manages hazardous waste is regulated through state permits. KDEP’s overarching goals are to protect human health and the state’s air, land and water resources. They work to achieve this goal through issuing permits to the projects or facilities that require them, and conducting inspections to ensure the regulations are being followed.
“With the complexity of this plant and the regulations applied to it, it’s helpful for us to work together to enhance our protection of the environment,” said Todd Williams, environmental manager. “As we work together, we gain a better understanding of each other’s expectations, which benefits us for our ultimate goal of safe and environmentally protective chemical weapons destruction.”
Because KDEP’s interaction with the project is so involved, they have set up a branch office in the Richmond Mall to be closer to project headquarters and the construction site. KDEP personnel can be found on site performing inspections, in project meetings consulting with engineers and project leadership and poring over documents.
“We have the same goals,” said Bill Buchanan, environmental engineer. “We live, work and play in the same communities and are all invested in our environmental health.”
The relationship between KDEP and the Blue Grass project began in 2003 and has only grown since. It will continue until the last munition is destroyed, the project’s mission is complete and the final permits are closed.
“Our goal is to leave the project site as good as or better than we found it,” said Buchanan. “We have made, and will continue to make, great efforts to ensure that happens.”