Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant Monthly Recap – June 2023

The last chemical weapon stored at the Blue Grass Army Depot (BGAD) was destroyed July 7, said Dr. Candace Coyle, Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant (BGCAPP) site project manager. The munition was an M55 rocket containing GB nerve agent.

“Destruction of the GB rockets not only marks the elimination of all chemical weapons at the Blue Grass Army Depot, but the destruction of all chemical weapons in the U.S. stockpile,” said Coyle. “It is a historic moment not only for us in Kentucky, but the United States and across the world. With this last munition, the Chemical Weapons Convention mandate to eliminate all declared chemical weapons stockpiles is now globally achieved.”

Plant workers destroyed more than 101,000 rockets and projectiles throughout five munition destruction campaigns. A campaign refers to destruction of a particular type of chemical weapon. Destruction operations began in Kentucky June 2019, with more than 523 U.S. tons of chemical agent destroyed. Throughout chemical weapons destruction operations, the BGCAPP team worked closely with BGAD and Blue Grass Chemical Activity (BGCA) partners to destroy the chemical weapons. Workers from BGCA supported delivery of the last chemical weapons from storage to the plant July 3.

The M55 rockets containing GB nerve agent represented more than 50% of the original chemical weapons stockpile safely stored at BGAD. Five different kinds of chemical agent-filled weapons were originally stored at the depot: 155mm projectiles containing mustard agent, 155mm projectiles containing VX nerve agent, 8-inch projectiles containing GB nerve agent, M55 rockets containing VX nerve agent and M55 rockets containing GB nerve agent.

The accomplishment has been reported to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, an intergovernmental organization that implements the Chemical Weapons Convention treaty. The Program Executive Office, Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives (PEO ACWA) was responsible for eliminating the U.S. chemical weapons stockpile by the treaty commitment date of Sept. 30, 2023.

Upcoming Meetings

The next Kentucky Chemical Demilitarization Citizens’ Advisory Commission and Chemical Destruction Community Advisory Board meeting will be held:
Sept. 6, 2023, at 1:30 p.m. ET
Carl D. Perkins Building, Rooms A and B
Eastern Kentucky University
Richmond, Kentucky

For information about the meeting, contact the Blue Grass Chemical Stockpile Outreach Office at (859) 626-8944 or

New to BGCAPP?

The Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant is a facility built to destroy the chemical weapons stockpile stored at the Blue Grass Army Depot near Richmond, Kentucky. (This video portrays BGCAPP operations prior to the July 7, 2023, destruction of the stockpile.) The main plant used neutralization to destroy the nerve-agent stockpile. The decision was made to not use the supercritical water oxidation system to process hydrolysate, the product of the neutralization process. This secondary waste was shipped to a licensed and permitted hazardous waste treatment, storage and disposal facility. A Static Detonation Chamber (SDC) destroyed the mustard agent stockpile. This SDC, now known as the SDC 1200, and the larger SDC 2000, which began operations on Jan. 27, 2023, augment the main plant by destroying drained rocket warheads. With destruction operations complete, the safety of the workforce, neighboring communities and the environment remains the project’s priority through closure.

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