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

Current Project Phase:

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

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

The site is in the closure phase, which is expected to take approximately three years. Plant closure involves the decontamination and decommissioning of facilities and equipment, disposition of property, demolition of facilities not required for future U.S. Army use, and closure of government contracts and environmental permits in accordance with laws and regulations.

The safety of the workforce, community and environment continues to be the plant’s highest priority during the closure phase.


Project Update:

  • The plant is awaiting state approval of Permit Modification Request B062, Agent Neutralization System Changes to Bypass the Agent Water Separator and Wash Water Collection Tanks. A public meeting was held May 8 to discuss the proposed changes. The public comment period for this modification request closes June 17.
  • A job fair for PCAPP workers will be held June 5 and 6 with representatives from other Bechtel, Amentum and Battelle projects and local industrial park companies.
  • More than 120,000 pounds of contaminated closure waste has been shipped to hazardous waste facilities in Deer Trail, Colorado, and near Port Arthur, Texas.

Main Plant:

  • The utility stations for the Cavity Access Machines and the feed conveyors to the Munitions Washout System (MWS) in the Agent Processing Building have all been decontaminated and removed. In addition, surge drums and associated piping have been decontaminated and removed from the MWS.
  • Air-monitoring systems used during destruction operations are being installed in the MWS Room and Toxic Maintenance Area to provide lower-level monitoring to assist with determining whether levels of protective equipment for workers can be reduced.
  • Media cleanout is complete in Module 1 of the Immobilized Cell Bioreactors in the Biotreatment Area and continuing in Module 3, while sludge cleanout continues in the Water Recovery System Tanks.
  • Technicians continue to conduct unventilated monitoring tests (UMTs) to ensure no chemical agent contamination remains that would expose an unprotected demolition worker to unsafe levels. Seven UMTs will be conducted as part of plant closure activities in locations associated with agent processing and destruction: three in the Enhanced Reconfiguration Building and four more in the Agent Processing Building. Similar testing will be conducted in the future at the Static Detonation Chamber (SDC) complex. Preliminary results from recent tests have been successful with no readings exceeding the standard defined in the plant’s Resource Conservation and Recovery Act permit.
  • On Friday, May 10, waste operator Viktor Korotkov became the first PCAPP employee to reach 600 Demilitarization Protective Ensemble entries. This is not the first record Korotkov has broken. He also was the first to reach 500 entries in September 2022.


  • The closure plan for the SDC complex, Permit Modification Request B028, remains under review by state regulators as the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment addresses the PCD Hazardous Waste Permit renewal.
  • The three SDC units are undergoing routine maintenance, waste management and general housekeeping with minimal staffing.

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 June 26.

    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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