Air-monitoring systems testing was completed on all three Static Detonation Chamber units at the Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant in May to prepare for future operations.
“We are maintaining baselines for the SDC air-monitoring systems by challenging and calibrating the Miniature Continuous Air Monitoring Systems,” said Jake Miller, SDC monitoring shift branch manager, PCAPP. “Challenging these air monitoring systems includes performing required system challenges, maintenance and sampling.”
Air monitoring is a key safety and environmental function that tests air samples in and around the units to ensure it is safe for the workforce and the environment. A similar system operates at the main plant.
The three units, each consisting of two major components – the detonation chamber and the off-gas treatment system – will augment the main plant by destroying 4.2-inch mortar rounds.
The units still have several steps remaining before they can begin destruction.
The next step is Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment approval of the 3,000-page Resource Conservation and Recovery Act permit modification request and the corresponding 45-day public comment period. Approval of the permit modification request allows the next phase of testing on the units to begin.
“Following approvals from CDPHE and Pueblo County regulators, trial burns can begin,” said John Jackson, SDC start-up manager.
Trial burns comprise a testing period divided into two phases. Phase one consists of a surrogate trial burn using non-agent chemicals and conventional ammunitions.
“Our near-term focus is getting into phase one of the trial burn,” Jackson said.