The Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant is safely and compliantly destroying mustard agent, with plant staff using the same level of care in the disposal of secondary wastes.
“Secondary wastes are wastes generated during the treatment of the munitions that aren’t directly associated with the munitions,” said Paul Warbington, environmental manager, PCAPP. “These could include gloves, boots, protective suits, packaging materials, tools, wood pallets, boxes, and packing tubes, as examples. These wastes are classified as either contaminated or not contaminated to determine the most appropriate disposal option.”
Warbington said there are conditions under which agent-contaminated secondary waste can be safely transported off site. The Bounding Transportation Risk Assessment, prepared by the U.S. Army Chemical Materials Agency, defines those parameters.
Secondary wastes are double bagged, zip tied, to prevent vapor migration, and labeled. Prior to containerizing waste into a 55-gallon polyurethane drum, a Miniature Continuous Air Monitoring System wand is inserted into the bag for a five-minute cycle to determine the proper disposal destination. If the bagged waste reaches a level of equal or greater than 0.7 Vapor Screening Limit, the waste will be trucked off site for incineration. If the waste is less than 0.7 VSL, it will be sent to a permitted Treatment, Storage and Disposal Facility, said Steve Bunn, Jr., waste management superintendent, PCAPP.
“We take extreme caution with the safety of our employees, as well as with the communities in which the wastes pass,” Bunn said. “