Operators sent the first shipment of Greater than 1 Vapor Screening Level, or VSL, mustard agent-contaminated waste from the Blue Grass plant to a permitted Treatment, Storage and Disposal Facility in Texas this month.
“We shipped 14 drums containing secondary waste from the plant’s Waste Transfer Station on Dec. 11,” said Ashley King, lead waste engineer, Bechtel Parsons Blue Grass. “The shipment was successful, and no issues were observed.”
The wastes included buffer tank solids (particulates and dust) from the Explosive Destruction Technology facility as well as personal protective equipment and clean-up materials, King said. The drums contained no liquid. The box trailer hauling the drums was monitored before, during and after loading and again upon arrival at the waste disposal facility. Waste operations personnel flew to Texas to observe the arrival and subsequent disposal of the waste drums and to ensure compliance with state, federal and Army requirements.
“There is a limited capacity to destroy this kind of waste on site,” said Jeff Kiley, physical scientist, Program Executive Office, Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives. “During my involvement with the Aberdeen and Newport projects, the National Research Council agreed this is a very safe and efficient way to destroy this waste and allow the plant to process chemical agent.”
VSL is defined as the concentration of a chemical agent in a headspace below which the material can be treated as uncontaminated and workers can work with only a slung protective mask.