The pilot plant designed and built to destroy the chemical stockpile at the U.S. Army Pueblo Chemical Depot (PCD) is anticipated to begin operations next month.
“The launch sequence has begun,” said Greg Mohrman, site project manager, Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant (PCAPP), said during the Colorado Chemical Demilitarization Citizens’ Advisory Commission meeting held July 27.
Rick Holmes, project manager, PCAPP, said all system turnovers are complete. This means the entire plant has been turned over to operations.
“Every system in the plant is running,” Holmes said.
Munitions will be moved from PCD at the end of August, and plant operations are scheduled to begin in early September. Mohrman said that although the schedule is set, the plant will begin operations when it is ready to begin safely.
Representatives from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) will be on site in late August. OPCW inspectors will be at the plant around the clock when operations start, to ensure operations adhere to the articles of the Chemical Weapons Convention and the chemical weapons stockpile is destroyed in an irreversible manner, said Johnny Wallace, treaty compliance coordinator.
“From just before the processing of the first munition to when the last munition is confirmed destroyed, the inspectors will report details and findings of their inspections to OPCW headquarters,” Wallace said.