Workers completed installation of an air-monitoring system in March which places monitors between the Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant (BGCAPP) and the Blue Grass Army Depot installation boundary.
“We are doing this as another measure to protect the workers, the community and the environment,” said Jamie Hess, government shift representative, BGCAPP.
“This monitoring network is very similar to monitoring performed at previous chemical agent destruction facilities. By monitoring near the installation borders, we can provide a record to verify that no emissions have escaped our facilities which are maintained under engineering controls,” Hess said.
The network, known as perimeter monitoring, consists of eight Depot Area Air Monitoring Systems (DAAMS) stations at specific areas downwind of the chemical weapons destruction facility on the Blue Grass Army Depot. It will continuously sample the air for traces of chemical agent during plant operations.
“The DAAMS perimeter network will provide historical monitoring to augment the extensive agent monitoring system at the facility,” said Steve Downing, laboratory manager, Battelle. “Sample analysis results will provide a record of air quality for the safe and compliant operation of the facility.”
Technicians have installed sampling equipment in the perimeter monitoring enclosures for mustard-agent monitoring, in support of the upcoming Explosive Destruction Technology operations, and are performing tests to validate the integrity of the sampling systems, said Downing. They are fully trained on the equipment and procedures for its use in the laboratory before conducting these tests in the field, but are now becoming proficient in location-specific aspects of the process such as routes and protocols that must be followed while driving in the depot’s restricted area to access these stations.
Next steps for the system will be to collect background data for assessing sampling methods, Hess said. This will then progress to a baseline study, which will collect daily samples over time to build a history of existing conditions before the processing of munitions at the facility.