The Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant marked its one-year anniversary of pilot testing, Sept. 7.
“During the past year, we have learned a lot about our plant and the munitions we are destroying,” said Greg Mohrman, site project manager, PCAPP. “As of Sept. 1, 253 tons of mustard agent have been destroyed.”
Pilot testing, during which agent-filled munitions are introduced into the plant under increasing process rates, demonstrates that personnel, facilities and equipment can process munitions safely, compliantly and as designed. It is a period of gathering data required by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to grant PCAPP its Part B permit, which the plant needs to begin full-scale operations.
“What stands out most to me is that we have faced a few issues but we’ve navigated them very well,” said Terry Hart, vice-chair, Colorado Chemical Demilitarization Citizens’ Advisory Commission. “In the long run, we stayed true to our cause of making sure that we have a safe environment for the workers and for the community.”
Mohrman said despite challenges, the PCAPP workforce has proven to be adept at problem solving and improving operations.
“By far the most important lesson we have learned is the value of good training and placing trust in our people to make good decisions,” Mohrman said.