Pilot testing operations at the Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant (PCAPP) safely resumed this week, after being paused since Nov. 20, 2016, when issues at two of the site’s tank storage areas were discovered.
“Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) agreed with our recommended removal of agitators from the 30-day Hydrolysate Storage Tanks,” said John Jackson, plant support specialist. “Removal of the agitators eliminates the risk of leaking.”
An industrial hazardous waste spill of approximately 450 gallons of hydrolysate was caused by a seal failure on one of the agitators located on the side of a 30-day Hydrolysate Storage Tank. Mustard agent was not released in the event.
“We have worked very hard investigating the causes, and finding solutions in collaboration with CDPHE,” said Greg Mohrman, site project manager, PCAPP.
Additionally, rainwater leaked through the liner of the secondary containment system surrounding the Brine Concentrator Feed Tanks (BCFT).
“We have removed the liner from the floor and part way up the walls of the secondary containment system around the BCFTs and will soon begin evaluating replacement liner materials for this area,” Mohrman said.
Jackson said a new coating system will need to be completed in the BCFT containment area before biotreatment, brine reduction and water recovery systems can begin operating. While that work is being done, limited amounts of 155mm projectiles will be processed.
“Pilot test activities will begin at a reduced rate, but they will be sufficient enough to keep the equipment functioning and the operations crews proficient,” said Jackson.