CONTACT: Tom Schultz
U.S. ARMY PUEBLO CHEMICAL DEPOT, Colo. – Walton W. Levi, acting site project manager for the Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant (PCAPP), today announced the achievement of a significant milestone — The elimination of a quarter of the mustard agent stockpiled in chemical weapons in the Pueblo Chemical Depot (PCD).
Recently the plant reported passing the 100,000 mark in its current destruction campaign of 155mm munitions. As of March 31 that number went over 112,400.
“With the destruction of each 155mm munition, we also eliminate 11.7 pounds of mustard agent,” said Levi. “Destroying more than 112,400 projectiles in the plant also marks the eradication of more than 660 U.S. tons of mustard agent, and that amount exceeds 25 percent of the more than 2,600 U.S. tons in the PCD chemical stockpile.”
PCAPP started agent destruction operations in March 2015 with the activation of the U.S. Army’s Explosive Destruction System, followed by start-up of the main plant in September 2016. Prior to that, the U.S. Army’s Chemical Materials Agency (now the Chemical Materials Activity) had already destroyed nearly 90 percent of the United States’ declared chemical agent stockpile — more than 27,000 tons of chemical nerve and blister agents — contained in more than 2.3 million munitions and bulk containers at now closed incineration sites scattered across the continental United States and on Johnston Atoll in the Pacific.
The depot, which houses the largest portion of the nation’s remaining chemical arsenal, has safely stored more than 780,000 mustard agent-filled weapons in the form of 155mm and 105mm projectiles as well as 4.2-inch mortars since the early 1950s.
“While we still have much work ahead of us, this achievement demonstrates our continued commitment to the international community to safely eliminate all chemical weapons in the U.S. inventory,” said Levi.
The PCAPP mission remains on path with the careful elimination of all chemical weapons in the PCD stockpile by the Congressionally-mandated deadline of December 31, 2023.