No Significant Environmental Impact Anticipated from Additional Chemical Weapons Destruction Equipment

Blue Grass Chemical Stockpile Outreach Office
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RICHMOND, Ky. – The Blue Grass Army Depot commander signed a document verifying no significant impact to the environment is anticipated from an action proposed to augment processing capability at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant, or BGCAPP, July 1.

“By signing the Finding of No Significant Impact, or FONSI, Col. Kurz has accepted the conclusion of an environmental assessment regarding the augmentation of the Blue Grass chemical weapons destruction process,” said Joe Elliott, chemical demilitarization project coordinator, Blue Grass Army Depot. “The public comment period for the assessment ended June 17, with no comments that required changes to the assessment or FONSI.”

Augmentation will be achieved by retrofitting the plant’s existing Static Detonation Chamber (SDC) following completion of mustard munitions processing and using an additional SDC to process M55 rocket components and complete M55 rockets in overpacks. BGCAPP will still process nerve agent projectiles, neutralize nerve agent, separate M55 rockets into components and drain warheads.

Now that the environmental assessment and FONSI are complete, the next step is to develop and submit an environmental permit application to the Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection, known as KDEP, said Wade Hollinger, director of compliance, BGCAPP.

“The finalization of the FONSI enables us to proceed with permitting actions,” Hollinger said. “We are working closely with KDEP to ensure the workforce, community and environment will be protected through the whole augmentation process.”

Once certain permitting actions are complete, some earthwork and grading activities will begin, Hollinger said. Procurement is in process for the proposed SDC to be added to BGCAPP.

The Program Executive Office, Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives is responsible for destroying the remaining U.S. chemical weapons stockpile in Colorado and Kentucky. The organization oversees the contract for design, construction, operation and closure of the facility with Bechtel Parsons Blue Grass and teaming subcontractors AECOM, Battelle Memorial Institute and GP Strategies.

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