As of June 30, 75% of the mustard agent stored at the U.S. Army Pueblo Chemical Depot had been safely destroyed by the Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant team.
“The destruction of more than 75% of the mustard agent is a tribute to the hard work and dedication of the men and women of PCAPP,” said Walton Levi, site project manager, PCAPP. “While we still have much work ahead of us, this achievement demonstrates our continued commitment to the international community to safely eliminate all chemical weapons in the U.S. inventory.”
Agent-destruction operations began at PCAPP in March 2015. More than 2,600 U.S. tons of mustard agent were contained in the original chemical weapons stockpile stored in Colorado, which included three munition types: 155mm projectiles, 105mm projectiles and 4.2-inch mortar rounds.
“For decades the depot has ensured these weapons remain safe and secure prior to their destruction,” said Col Jason Lacroix, PCD Commander. “While hitting this 75% of agent eradicated milestone is exciting and a true testament to the workforce and relationship between PCD and PCAPP, we remain focused on the safety and security of the remaining 25% of the agent stockpile.”
In September 2020, the plant workers completed the 155mm projectile destruction campaign, in which nearly 1,800 tons of agent were destroyed. Since the 105mm projectile destruction campaign began in December 2020, nearly 100 tons of agent have been destroyed.
“Many challenges were overcome by a great team whose innovative thinking and perseverance got us to this point,” said Ken Harrawood, project manager, Bechtel Pueblo Team. “We have more than 1,600 workers who keep this facility operational on a daily basis, which has been a huge accomplishment especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The U.S. is destroying its remaining chemical weapons stockpile – mustard agent in Colorado and mustard and nerve agent at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant in Kentucky – under a global agreement known as the Chemical Weapons Convention. Both plants are scheduled to complete operations by the congressionally mandated deadline of Dec. 31, 2023.