The Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant is reducing its storage levels in line with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Many of the wastes we are preparing for shipment are items that we normally ship to permitted, off-site disposal facilities, and some are non-routine, such as hydrolysate, the wastewater product from the neutralization process,” said Walton Levi, site project manager, PCAPP, in a message to stakeholders. “Reducing the level of liquid wastes currently in storage will help ensure environmental protection and aid in restarting the facility if a cessation occurs.”
In addition to reducing liquid waste levels in storage tanks, Levi said the plant is taking more CDC-recommended steps to further minimize risk to the workforce and local communities. These include securing munitions now being temporarily stored in the plant that are unsuitable for processing, reducing wastes, controlling the inventory of munitions and containing solid wastes, such as non-functional contaminated equipment, for long-term storage.
The CDC recommended that PCAPP continue eliminating mustard agent.
“Our plant is continuing to process munitions under the same rigorous safety protocols while we examine ways in which we might continue to operate in a safe manner in this constantly changing environment,” Levi said. “We have learned from historical experience that an operating plant with an engaged workforce performs at a significantly higher level than when the plant is idle and the workforce is in a static observation mode.”