Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant Monthly Recap – February 2023

Chemical Weapons Destruction at the Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant (PCAPP):

The Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant (PCAPP) is destroying the remaining U.S. chemical weapons stockpile at the U.S. Army Pueblo Chemical Depot (PCD) in Colorado. The original stockpile consisted of approximately 780,000 total chemical weapons containing mustard agent. The Colorado stockpile initially comprised three chemical munition types: 155mm and 105mm projectiles and 4.2-inch mortar rounds. The first two campaigns are complete. The remaining 4.2-inch mortar round campaign is expected to end by the Chemical Weapons Convention treaty commitment date of Sept. 30, 2023. U.S. public law mandates stockpile destruction by Dec. 31, 2023.


Project Update:

  • For the last time during PCAPP agent demilitarization operations, the Department of the Army Inspector General performed a Chemical Surety Inspection to ensure that mission operations, safety, security, surety management, medical, emergency response and external support meet Army requirements and performance standards. The project received error-free feedback in safety, security and surety and achieved particular distinction for a pre-operations brief on munitions movement and chemical personnel reliability program interview questionnaire.
  • As of Feb. 24, PCAPP has destroyed more than 727,000 munitions, or 93.37% of the original stockpile. Just more than 52,000 munitions remain before the demilitarization mission is complete.
  • Patrick Sullivan, research scientist, has taken on additional duties as closure lead due to his scientific background and experience identifying and neutralizing harmful contaminants.

Main Plant Update:

  • CDPHE recently approved the washout test plan for HD 4.2-inch mortar rounds in the main plant and testing of the washout cycle has begun. The main plant is currently processing 4.2-inch HT mortar rounds and just more than 9,500 HT mortars remain as of Feb. 24.

SDC Update:

  • While the Static Detonation Chamber complex received approval of the Multi-Pathway Health Risk Assessment by CDPHE to operate at 100% capacity in February, the PCAPP team is awaiting approval of a permit modification request regarding updates for waste-treatment activities before full operations can commence.
  • The Pueblo plant team is seeking approval from CDPHE to begin a campaign to destroy munitions rejected from destruction in the main plant due to worker safety and other issues. The overpack campaign will include more than 400 rejects and leakers accumulated over the three munition campaigns: 105mm and 155mm projectiles and 4.2-inch mortar rounds. The overpacks will be destroyed in one of the SDC units at the Pueblo SDC complex, which will continue eliminating 4.2-inch mortar rounds, as well.

Upcoming Meetings

Public Notice – Pueblo Chemical Depot Permit Modifications S015, Class 2 Permit Modification S015, Overpacks Processing, and S020, Class 2 Permit Modification, Static Detonation Chamber Closure Plan Updates.

A public meeting to discuss these permit modification requests will be held online at 2 p.m. MT on Wednesday, March 22, 2023.

The meeting can be accessed with Zoom via computer or mobile app by typing https://tinyurl.com/4t9hppwv into your browser or telephone by dialing 1 (719) 359-4580 and when prompted, use the following Meeting ID: 844 3279 1550.

Please contact Jeannine Natterman at 1 (888) 569-1831, ext. 3303 as soon as possible if you have special accessibility needs and want to request alternate formats, sign language interpreters, or other reasonable accommodations.

New to PCAPP?

PCAPP is a facility built to destroy the chemical weapons stockpile stored at the U.S. Army Pueblo Chemical Depot in Colorado. The main plant uses neutralization followed by biotreatment and is supplemented by Static Detonation Chamber units in destroying 4.2-inch mortar rounds. The safety of the workforce, neighboring communities and the environment is the project’s priority.

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