The Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant (PCAPP) is planning for off-site shipment of hydrolysate, the wastewater product of the chemical agent neutralization process, as a contingency plan should its biotreatment system not meet processing expectations, while also trying to prevent interruptions to munitions processing.
The project started giving hydrolysate contingency planning increased priority and consideration following an incident in November 2016, said Walton Levi, deputy site project manager, PCAPP.
A seal failure on one of the agitators located on the side of a 30-day Hydrolysate Storage Tank caused an industrial hazardous waste spill of approximately 450 gallons of hydrolysate.
“We’ve had some issues with our storage tanks that support biotreatment. So, based on those issues, there may be a need in the near term to ship the hydrolysate stored in at least one of the tanks,” said Levi.
Even before plant staff considered the short-term shipment of hydrolysate, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommended a backup plan in the event the biotreatment system is only partially successful or not successful at all, said Levi.
The plan calls for the design and construction of a hydrolysate transfer and loading station, which was documented with a Record of Environmental Consideration, or REC, in March 2017.
“The REC and the discussion with the public dealt with building that transfer and loading station as a contingency,” said Levi. “Despite the possibility of off-site shipments, PCAPP’s commitment to on-site treatment has not changed.”