The Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant, or BGCAPP, is safely destroying more than 523 tons of chemical agent stored in rockets and projectiles at the Blue Grass Army Depot. During operations, air in and around the plant is monitored on a continuous basis with the safety of the workforce, community and environment as a top priority.
One aspect of air monitoring includes perimeter monitoring stations. These stations are intended to provide historical data and a permanent operating record. Additionally, the stations assist with confirming or refuting the unlikely event of chemical agent release beyond the boundaries of the stations.
Eight perimeter monitoring stations have been strategically placed around the plant and igloos containing chemical weapons. Personnel determined the location of each station based on years of historical data, including prevailing wind direction and other weather patterns.
Each station contains a Depot Area Air Monitoring System, or DAAMS. DAAMS contain two sorbent tubes which collect air samples every 12 hours. Before BGCAPP operations began, Laboratory personnel collected baseline data using the perimeter monitoring stations.
During operations, Laboratory personnel collect the two DAAMS tubes from each perimeter monitoring station on a regular basis and analyze the results within 72 hours after collection. In the event the first tube returns positive results of chemical agent, the second tube, using a different analytical method, is tested to confirm or refute results.
The perimeter monitoring stations are set to detect chemical agent at very low monitoring levels. The stations monitor air at the part per trillion level. This is like detecting one grain of sugar in an Olympic-sized swimming pool.
Perimeter monitoring stations are not meant to provide near real-time data. Miniature Continuous Air Monitoring Systems, or MINICAMS, placed in the plant and at the Clean-Air Exhaust Stacks, provide immediate information to plant personnel on air monitoring activities.
In the unlikely event chemical agent is released into the atmosphere during operations, plant personnel will follow all established procedures to notify the local community.