Public Comment Opportunity for Blue Grass Permit Modifications

BGCAPP has asked for two permit modifications that would allow the plant to add equipment in the Static Detonation Chamber 2000 Earth-Covered Magazine, shown here, to handle rockets with problematic conditions. (A portion of this photograph has been blurred in accordance with Department of Defense guidelines.)

The Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection, or KDEP, is reviewing two Class 2 permit modification requests that, if approved, could add another tool for the safe destruction of GB nerve agent M55 rockets at the Blue Grass plant.

The requests ask that the plant be allowed to add equipment in the Static Detonation Chamber, or SDC, 2000 Earth-Covered Magazine to handle rockets with problematic conditions.

“We are considering adding equipment that is already permitted in the main plant, such as the Rocket Non-Destructive Examination system, Vertical Rocket Cutting Machine, Rocket Warhead Containerization System and other robotic handling equipment,” said Bill Buchanan, environmental permitting manager, Bechtel Parsons Blue Grass. “We are also looking at a modified, commercial-off-the-shelf system as a contingency to safely handle selectively identified high risk problematic munitions to securely drain the chemical agent for neutralization in the Main Plant.”

Non-contaminated rocket motors will continue to be shipped off site for disposal in an SDC unit in Anniston, Alabama, according to Buchanan.

“BGCAPP has requested a temporary authorization request, followed by Class 2 modifications,” said April Webb, hazardous waste branch manager, KDEP. “Once the temporary authorization request is approved, the facility can proceed with construction while the Class 2 modifications are reviewed and approved.”

Information about these permit modification requests can be found on the Program Executive Office, Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives website. The 60-day public comment period closes Jan. 21, 2023.

The Blue Grass Chemical Stockpile Outreach Office will host a public meeting for this permit modification request at 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 15 at 1000 Commercial Drive, Suite 2, in Richmond, Kentucky. For more information, please contact the office at or (859) 626-8944.

For those who might need assistance, please submit requests for alternate formats, sign language interpreters and other reasonable accommodations as soon as possible but no later than Dec. 8, 2022, via email to Mark York at

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