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

Current Project Phase:
Transition to Closure

Chemical Agent Destroyed as of June 22, 2023:
2,613.2 U.S. Tons

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

On June 22, 2023, the Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant (PCAPP) completed destruction of the U.S. chemical weapons stockpile at the U.S. Army Pueblo Chemical Depot in Colorado, which consisted of 780,089 chemical weapons containing mustard agent. The Colorado stockpile included three munition types: 155mm and 105mm projectiles and 4.2-inch mortar rounds.


Project Update:

  • More than 650 community members gathered with government officials and project staff on Aug. 30 in Pueblo, Colorado, to commemorate the destruction of the U.S. chemical weapons stockpile in Colorado. The event at the Pueblo Convention Center featured guest speakers, including Colorado Governor Jared Polis, Pueblo Mayor Nicholas Gradisar, officials from the Departments of Defense and State and executives from the Bechtel Pueblo contractor team. Community and workforce members received recognition, and the Honorable Deborah Rosenblum, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear, Chemical and Biological Defense Programs, read a letter of appreciation to the community from Vice President Kamala Harris.

Below is the link to the full PCAPP EDO Event Ceremony video on YouTube as well as a link to photographs from the event.

Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant End of Destruction Operations Event

  • Irene Kornelly, chair, Colorado Chemical Demilitarization Citizens’ Advisory Commission, and Colleen Brisnehan, Hazardous Waste Manager, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), received recognition for their patriotic service to the PCAPP project during the Aug. 30 commemorative event, while Walton Levi, site project manager, PCAPP, was awarded the Department of the Army Superior Civilian Service Medal.
  • PCAPP workforce members are conducting safety stand-downs and other training activities to reinforce Occupational Safety and Health Administration industrial requirements.
  • On Aug. 4, members of the Korean Arms Verification Agency toured the main plant and Static Detonation Chamber (SDC) complex to familiarize themselves with the chemical demilitarization process.
  • Treaty obligations are complete. Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons inspectors vacated the site in August once they completed final verification at both PCAPP and the Anniston Field Office (AFO) at the Anniston Army Depot, Alabama. As of early August, all energetics had been shipped to the AFO for disposal. With no agent or energetics left at PCAPP, treaty seals have been removed.
  • Paperwork for surety termination has been submitted to the U.S. Army for review and approval. Exclusion Areas in the Enhanced Reconfiguration Building, Agent Processing Building and SDC complex have all been downgraded to Limited Areas.

Main Plant:

  • A new masking zone will go into effect Sept. 13. Employees required to go inside the Chemical Limited Area must carry a mask, be fit for duty, and be clean-shaven. For safety of the workforce during the decontamination and closure processes, those entering the CLA must have masks available in the unlikely event that they encounter a contaminated area.

Closure-related Activities:

  • The public comment period for permit modifications to the main plant and SDC closure plans ended Aug. 22. PCAPP and CDPHE leaders are working to resolve the comments before equipment disassembly can begin.
  • The Pueblo Workforce Center continues to host Transition Help Tuesdays 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.

Upcoming Meetings

The next Colorado Chemical Demilitarization Citizens’ Advisory Commission meeting will be held online at 3 p.m. MT on Sept. 27.

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 formerly stored at the U.S. Army Pueblo Chemical Depot. This video portrays PCAPP operations prior to the June 22, 2023, completion of destruction of the stockpile in Colorado. The main plant used neutralization followed by biotreatment and was supplemented by Static Detonation Chamber units to destroy mustard agent munitions. With destruction operations complete, the safety of the workforce, neighboring communities and the environment during the closure phase remains the project’s priority.

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