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

Quantity of Agent Destroyed:
2,613.2 U.S. Tons

Current Project Phase:
Transition to Closure

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:

  • Kingston Reif, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Threat Reduction and Arms Control, and community leaders representing the Colorado and Kentucky chemical weapons stockpile advisory groups discussed the recent elimination of the U.S. chemical weapons stockpile during a webinar sponsored by the Arms Control Association and the Chemical Weapons Convention Coalition Sept. 29. Irene Kornelly and Craig Williams, chairs of the Colorado and Kentucky Chemical Demilitarization Citizens’ Advisory Commissions respectively, shared their perspectives on the paths used to successfully eliminate the chemical weapons stockpiles stored at the U.S. Army depots in Pueblo, Colorado, and near Richmond, Kentucky.
  • All treaty and surety obligations are complete at the Pueblo plant after verification activities by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons confirmed all chemical weapons and their components have been destroyed. Verification activities included visual inspections of the facility to ensure no chemical weapons remained and sampling and analysis activities to show no recoverable agent was left in tanks and piping throughout the plant.
  • For the fourth time in a row, PCAPP workers placed first in the YMCA of Pueblo’s annual Corporate Cup competition against Division 3 teams that included Pueblo School District 60, District 70, Pueblo County and City of Pueblo. More than 150 employees signed up to compete in events throughout September.

Main Plant:

  • Pueblo plant mechanical technician Clay Church safely completed his 500th entry into potentially toxic areas of the plant for maintenance and closure-related activities on Oct. 4. Just two others have reached that number in the history of the PCAPP project. Viktor Korotkov holds the record for Demilitarization Protective Ensemble, or DPE, entries with 559 as of Oct. 11, while Mike Vigil logged 502 entries before exiting the project earlier this year.

Static Detonation Chamber (SDC):

  • Todd Ailes, project manager, Bechtel Pueblo Team, said at October’s Colorado Chemical Demilitarization Citizens’ Advisory Commission meeting that all three of PCAPP’s SDC units have found new homes: One unit will go to Redstone Arsenal in Alabama and two will go to Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland. Decontamination and disassembly of the units will begin upon approval of the closure plan.
  • All three SDC units are offline with functioning ventilation as crews conduct annual corrosion inspections.

Closure-Related Activities:

  • PCAPP and Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment personnel continue to work on closure plans for the main plant and the SDC units before a second, 30-day public comment period can be advertised and closure activities 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.
  • Representatives from Bechtel, Amentum and Battelle projects will attend a job fair scheduled for Nov. 8 and 9 at 4 Jetway Court. U.S. Army Pueblo Chemical Depot workforce members have been invited to this event.

Upcoming Meetings

  • Walton Levi, site project manager, PCAPP, will give an update to the Pueblo Optimists Club at 11:45 a.m. MT Wednesday, Nov. 29, at Brues Alehouse, 120 E. Riverwalk, Pueblo.
  • The next Colorado Chemical Demilitarization Citizens’ Advisory Commission meeting will be held online at 3 p.m. MT on Dec. 6.

    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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