Local stakeholders toured the Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant on Oct. 14 to determine how real property, equipment and facilities could be repurposed following the plant’s anticipated closure in 2023.
“We are starting to look at what life at PCAPP may look like after the end of operations,” said Walton Levi, site project manager, PCAPP. “We want to see if organizations, businesses and the local community may have a need or want for some of our equipment or facilities.”
The Program Executive Office, Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives oversees demilitarization activities at both PCAPP and the Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant in Kentucky. By February 2021, PEO ACWA will submit a report to Congress outlining the program’s equipment and items that could potentially be repurposed for other uses.
Four stakeholders participated in the tour – Irene Kornelly, chair, Colorado Citizens’ Advisory Commission; John Norton, citizen CAC member and Biotreatment Utilization Group chair; Terry Hart, Pueblo County commissioner and CAC vice chair; and Russell DeSalvo, president and CEO, PuebloPlex.
The stakeholders took part in a drive-by tour of the PCAPP facility, as well as walking tours of the plant’s laboratory and medical facility. The tour attendees will be among the decision-makers to determine what items and equipment could be of interest to the community once PCAPP closes.
“I’ve been to the plant many times, but this time, I was seeing it from a different point of view,” said Kornelly. “This was the first of what I anticipate will be many meetings in which we can figure out what can and can’t be done with PCAPP and the U.S. Army Pueblo Chemical Depot.”
More than 780,000 munitions were in the original Colorado stockpile, and as of Oct. 2020, just over two-thirds of mustard agent stored within the munitions had been destroyed. Upon meeting the 2023 congressional destruction deadline, the plant will begin the closure process, which includes re-purposing land and equipment for other uses.
A similar tour took place at the ACWA facility on the Blue Grass Army Depot in Kentucky Oct. 14.