Two truckloads of hydrolysate, the wastewater product of the chemical neutralization process, were successfully shipped from the Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant on July 31.
“In order to continue the plant’s ability to eliminate the chemical weapons stockpile, we are temporarily shipping hydrolysate to a permitted Treatment, Storage and Disposal Facility,” said Greg Mohrman, site project manager, PCAPP.
Late last year, challenges with a 30-day Hydrolysate Storage Tank and the Brine Concentrator Feed Tanks resulted in a pause in plant destruction operations. While the issues were being resolved, pilot testing of the Biotreatment Area (BTA) was delayed, leaving a large quantity of untreated hydrolysate in storage tanks, Mohrman said.
“We have arrived at a point where it has become necessary to ship hydrolysate to the Veolia Environmental Services Hazardous Waste Incinerator for treatment and disposal,” said Mohrman. “We are confident in the safe and successful accomplishment of this limited mission, which is not expected to become standard practice.”
Working in concert with regulators and oversight organizations, an action plan was developed by PCAPP staff, which ensures the safe and secure shipment of a hydrolysate and surrogate mixture. Surrogate, which consists primarily of thiodiglycol, was used to test the BTA last year.
“It is our plan to ship a convoy of trucks to Port Arthur, Texas, over a 30-day period until the process is complete,” Mohrman said.