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

Current Project Phase:

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

The Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant completed destruction of the U.S. chemical weapons stockpile previously stored at the U.S. Army Pueblo Chemical Depot in Colorado on June 22, 2023. The stockpile consisted of 780,089 chemical weapons containing 2,613 U.S. tons of mustard agent.


Project Update:

  • The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment approved the PCAPP main plant closure plan March 29, to move the plant into its final stage—closure. Closure is expected to take approximately three years.
  • PCAPP employees were honored in a March 20 ceremony for achieving re-certification of STAR designation in the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Voluntary Protection Program, the highest recognition received for being a safe work site.
  • The plant received a satisfactory Performance Assessment Review from a contractor corporate-based team and a Program Executive Office, Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives representative regarding preparedness for closure activities.
  • Col. Rodney McCutcheon, commander, PCD, accompanied Col. Ronnie Anderson, commander, U.S. Army Joint Munitions Command, on a tour of PCAPP to provide insight into the upcoming closure stage.
  • Walton Levi, site project manager, PCAPP, provided a plant update to the Boone Town Council on March 19.

Main Plant:

  • More than 660 drums of waste were generated and stored in igloos under Temporary Authorization Request B073, which allowed the workforce to disassemble, decontaminate, remove and containerize:
    • Projectile/Mortar Disassembly systems within the three Explosive Containment Rooms located in the Enhanced Reconfiguration Building
    • Cavity Access Machines, Improved Cavity Access Machines, robots, and associated supporting pedestals and base plates for both Munitions Washout System lines within the Agent Processing Building
    • Pumps/motors and piping used to operate the Spent Decontamination System.
  • Workers removed more than 120,000 gallons of residual sludge from the bottom of three hydrolysate storage tanks by vacuum and transferred it safely to tanker trucks for off-site disposal. More than 50 trucks were required to ship the sludge to a hazardous waste treatment, storage, and disposal facility in Colorado.

Static Detonation Chamber (SDC):

  • The closure plan for the SDC complex (Permit Modification Request B028) remains under review by state regulators as CDPHE addresses the PCD Hazardous Waste Permit renewal prior to addressing B028.
  • All three SDC units are offline with functioning ventilation.
  • The SDC complex has moved to minimal staffing and three separate unit control rooms have been consolidated into one command post.
  • Unused rental trailers are being removed from the site as contents are cleaned out.  

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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