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.
- As of May 26, PCAPP has destroyed more than 770,000 munitions, or 98.8% of the original chemical weapons stored at PCD. Around 9,000 munitions remain to be destroyed before chemical weapons destruction operations are complete.
- On May 12, Walton Levi, site project manager, PCAPP, provided a project update to members of the Military Affairs Committee of the Greater Pueblo Chamber of Commerce. On May 18, Levi gave a presentation to members of the Pueblo Charter Lions Club.
- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Voluntary Protection Program presented PCAPP a “Zeroes Heroes” award for having a comprehensive, effective safety program in 2022. Brad Baptiste, regional VPP manager, OSHA Region VIII, said 35 organizations were selected for this award because they had zero occupational injuries and illnesses recorded with OSHA in 2022.
- Individuals from more than 30 local, state and federal agencies, including PCD and PCAPP, gathered May 3 in Pueblo for the final annual Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program exercise. The program, administered by the U.S. Army and Federal Emergency Management Agency, will end preparedness assistance for participating communities 180 days after the installation commander where chemical weapons are stored certifies destruction of the chemical weapons stockpile. However, the infrastructure and training opportunities that have been brought to Pueblo County through CSEPP will continue to benefit the community after the program goes away.
Main Plant Update:
- Toxic materials handlers from PCD delivered the final 1,800 4.2-inch mortar rounds May 25 for destruction in the main plant.
- Mike Strong, director of compliance, PCAPP, said the main plant destroyed an average of 400 munitions per day over the Memorial Day holiday weekend.
Static Detonation Chamber Update:
- Workers at the Pueblo plant’s Static Detonation Chamber (SDC), complex achieved the highest daily destruction total in its operational history, 308 4.2-inch mortar rounds, on May 18. This surpassed the previous record of 263 rounds destroyed on March 30, when the complex operated at just 75% capacity. The SDC complex has been operating at 100% capacity since May 17, following the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) permit approval.
- The final transfer of munitions from PCD will occur in June when a transport of overpacked munitions will be delivered to the SDC complex. On May 19, CDPHE gave approval for a Class 2 permit modification to destroy overpacked munitions deemed unsuitable for main plant destruction in the SDC.
- Over the holiday weekend, the SDC averaged destruction of six overpacked munitions per day leaving just 304 remaining.
- A local internal job fair for the PCAPP workforce will be held on June 14 and 15 from 3-6 p.m. MT at the PCAPP Training Facility, 4 Jetway. Sessions will run from 3-4:30 p.m. and 4:30-6 p.m. MT. This job fair will feature local companies interested in hiring PCAPP employees who desire to remain in the area after their release date.
- The Pueblo Workforce Center continues to host Transition Help Tuesdays every week, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. MT in the Breckenridge Conference Room at PCAPP. One-on-one sessions are offered to employees, providing guidance and information for employment transition, including resume review, workshops, access to LinkedIn Learning and career coaching programming.
The Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant will commemorate the completion of the destruction of the entire chemical weapons stockpile in Colorado on Aug. 30 with a public event, “Honoring Our Commitment: Chemical Weapons Stockpile Destruction Complete in Colorado.” The event will occur at the Pueblo Convention Center beginning at 2 p.m. MT. U.S. Army and Department of Defense leaders as well as local, state, and federal representatives are expected to attend. While the event is open to the public, electronic invitations will be sent in July. Send an email to PuebloOutreach@iem.com to receive an electronic invitation or to RSVP.
The June Colorado Chemical Demilitarization Citizens’ Advisory Commission meeting will be held online on June 28 at 3 p.m. MT.
Individuals interested in joining online may participate using the link and information below.
To join by computer: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84432791550
To join by phone, call: 1 (719) 359-4580
Meeting ID: 844 3279 1550#
New to PCAPP?
The Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant is a facility built to destroy the chemical weapons stockpile stored at the Pueblo Chemical Depot. The main plant uses neutralization followed by biotreatment and is supplemented by Static Detonation Chamber units to destroy the remaining mustard agent in 4.2-inch mortar rounds. The safety of the workforce, neighboring communities and the environment is the project’s priority.