Facts: Kentucky Chemical Demilitarization Citizens’ Advisory Commission and Chemical Destruction Community Advisory Board

The mission of the Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant (BGCAPP) team was to safely and efficiently destroy the chemical weapons stockpile stored at the Blue Grass Army Depot (BGAD) near Richmond, Kentucky, with meaningful opportunities for public involvement in the project. The Department of Defense (DOD), the Program Executive Office, Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives (PEO ACWA) and the depot recognized that public participation was critical to the project’s success. Two advisory groups exist to represent community and state interests.

Kentucky Chemical Demilitarization Citizens’ Advisory Commission (CAC)
During the closure phase, the CAC continues to provide a vital link between the community and the DOD as a forum for exchanging ideas and concerns. It also represents community and state interests to the U.S. Army and DOD. Its mission continues to be to provide for the thorough and objective exchange of information among the citizens of Kentucky, the Army and other organizations involved in making sure the closure process includes the community just as it did during chemical weapons destruction.

The governor of Kentucky appoints commission members who serve an unlimited term at the governor’s discretion. The commission consists of nine members — seven are members of the community at large, and two are state officials. Although the commission receives limited federal funding from the DOD, it operates independent of Army influence.

For more information, contact CAC Secretary Valerie Merlin at kentucky.cac2016@gmail.com.

Chemical Destruction Community Advisory Board (CDCAB)

The CDCAB is an independent sub-committee of the CAC and is a diverse group who represent various community elements with an interest in chemical weapons destruction and closure of the facility. The board’s primary objective is to share information and provide input to the CAC and government decision-makers.

Voting members include representatives from the following organizations:

  • Berea College, Eastern Kentucky University, Madison County Board of Education and Berea Community Schools
  • Richmond Chamber of Commerce
  • CAC
  • Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program/Madison County Emergency Management Agency
  • Chemical Weapons Working Group
  • Civic and religious groups
  • Elected state officials
  • Environmental organizations
  • Kentucky Division of Emergency Management
  • Local hospitals
  • Madison County, Estill County, City of Berea and City of Richmond governments
  • National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
  • Included as non-voting members are representatives from the following organizations:
  • BGAD
  • Blue Grass Chemical Activity
  • Bechtel Parsons Blue Grass
  • Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection
  • PEO ACWA
  • Representatives of federal elected officials

PEO ACWA, the organization responsible for the destruction of the Kentucky chemical weapons stockpile, values the input and participation from the CDCAB. As the closure phase progresses, the CDCAB will continue to conduct open discussions during regular meetings on plant closure, economic development, sustainability, permitting, environmental considerations and other issues.

For information about the CDCAB, contact Craig Williams at (859) 986-7565 or the Madison County Judge-Executive at (859) 624-4700. To learn about the upcoming meeting schedule or to be added to the mailing list, please contact the Blue Grass Chemical Stockpile Outreach Staff at (859) 626-8944 or bgoutreach@iem.com.

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