Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant Monthly Recap – February 2024

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 (PCD) in Colorado, which consisted of 780,089 chemical weapons containing 2,613 U.S. tons of mustard agent.


Project Update:

  • The total PCAPP workforce stands at approximately 1,300 employees.
  • The waste generated under Permit Modification Request (PMR) B073 (limited disassembly) is being maintained on site in permitted storage locations until PMR B071 (Main Plant Closure Plan) is approved. To date, 94 drums have been filled from Explosion Containment Rooms 1 2, and 3, and 319 drums from the Munitions Washout System (MWS).
  • A group of PCAPP employees recently visited the Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant in Kentucky to conduct a performance assessment of closure activities to strengthen internal processes.
  • The regional administrator for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Voluntary Protection Program will visit PCAPP in March to celebrate the plant’s STAR designation with employees.

Main Plant:

  • The main plant closure plan remains under review by state regulators. Plant personnel anticipate submitting responses to the latest comments by early March.
  • Thirty-day hydrolysate storage tanks 201 and 301 have been cleaned of residual sludge, which has been shipped safely by tanker for off-site disposal. Disassembly work continues on MWS Line 2 robot and pedestal and base plates for Cavity Access Machines.

Static Detonation Chamber (SDC):

  • The closure plan for the SDC complex (PMR B028) was submitted to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) in December and remains under review. The plant is awaiting PCD Hazardous Waste Permit renewal prior to CDPHE addressing B028.
  • All three SDC units are offline with functioning ventilation as crews focus on detonation chamber enclosure and vessel cleaning across all units.
  • The SDC workforce conducted function testing on the steam generator for decontamination in preparation for closure.
  • The SDC is moving to minimal staffing.
  • Several excess rental trailers previously used by engineers have been removed from the site.

Closure-related Activities:

  • 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. Interview and resume workshops continued to be offered in February.

Upcoming Meetings

  • The next Colorado Chemical Demilitarization Citizens’ Advisory Commission meetings will be online at 3 p.m. MT on April 24.

    Individuals interested in joining online can participate using the link and information below.

    Computer: Zoom
    Phone: 1 (719) 359-4580
    Meeting ID:  844 3279 1550#

New to PCAPP?

The Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant, or PCAPP, was built to destroy the chemical weapons stockpile formerly stored at PCD. 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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