Pueblo plant operators are seeking the Colorado state health department’s approval to operate the Static Detonation Chamber complex at full capacity after months of environmental testing and analysis.
“A Multiple Pathway Health Risk Assessment (MPHRA) is required by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, and we have been doing them since the beginning of the project for all PCAPP operations,” said Dr. Jim Earley, chief scientist. “A favorable report will allow the SDCs, which are running at 75% capacity, to run at full or 100% capacity.”
The assessment estimates potential risks and hazards to human health and the environment from emissions from the main plant and Static Detonation Chamber complex. A recent update including data collected from the complex was submitted to the state Nov. 3.
Several of these reports have been prepared since destruction operations began, evolving from using emissions estimates for main plant processing to the present, where sampled emissions data is applied for each weapons destruction process stream.
According to Earley, the reporting process takes around five months to complete. Once the report is compiled by plant science staff and reviewed by Program Executive Office, Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives field office and U.S. Army Pueblo Chemical Depot personnel, it is forwarded to regulators for approval.
Dr. Patrick Sullivan, PCAPP physical scientist and environmental manager, described the impact of the MPHRA data submissions at an October public meeting, “What it means is the plant is safe, and the increased risk and hazard to the general public is very small.”
You can find more information on the PCAPP environmental permitting page on the AWCA website.