Engineers at the Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant are moving forward with limited construction at Pueblo Chemical Depot to support Static Detonation Chambers.
“Underground utility work and building the foundations will be the focus during these next few months,” said David Duff, mechanical engineer, PCAPP field office.
A Temporary Authorization was recently approved by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. This – along with an air permit and a Certificate of Designation from Pueblo County – is allowing work to move forward on infrastructure, said Duff, who tracks planning and development.
Before the authorizations were granted, work was restricted to modifying the former Explosive Destruction System site, starting with removal of two environmental enclosures that protected the system, and preparing temporary construction facilities such as parking areas and waste laydown yards.
Duff said the preparation work put the project in a good place for the start of infrastructure construction June 18 once state and county authorization was received to move forward. Up to 150 workers will be on site during peak activities.
Each SDC is two units — the detonation chamber and the off-gas treatment system. Once utilities are in place, and the concrete slabs are poured and coated, the next step will be to install the units.
The supporting equipment that is above ground — exterior lights, carbon filters, monitoring houses, etc. — is on schedule for completion in time for SDC installation anticipated later this year.
The units will destroy 4.2-inch mortar rounds as well as problematic lots kept in earth-covered igloos at the depot, which has stockpiled a portion of the nation’s remaining chemical weapons stockpile since the 1950s. The weapons are being destroyed under international treaty and Congressional mandate.