ACWA Announces New Program Executive Officer
Ms. Suzanne S. Milchling assumes Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives program leadership as Program Executive Officer on June 25, 2017.
The Static Detonation Chamber, the Explosive Destruction Technology chosen to destroy Kentucky’s mustard agent stockpile, was assembled and installed in early 2016. The SDC was placed in lay-up temporarily in December 2016 to focus resources on the completion of main plant systemization. Upon receiving supplemental funding in July 2017, pre-systemization activities of the SDC commenced.
On Sept. 7, 2016, the Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant starts the Pilot Testing phase, which is the gradual destruction of agent-filled munitions into the system. This phase will continue until plant managers and the state health department are satisfied all systems are working properly and the plant and workforce is ready to bring the plant up to its designed operational capacity.
On Feb. 11, 2016, the Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant Explosive Destructive System successfully completes its first campaign, eliminating 265 105mm projectiles, 196 155mm projectiles, 88 4.2-inch mortar rounds and 11 Department of Transportation bottles for a total of 560 items containing mustard agent.
Video: Colorado System Completes First Step in Munition Elimination
On Oct. 28, 2015, the Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant officially declares main facility construction complete.
Video: Blue Grass Plant Marks End of Construction
The Static Detonation Chamber, the explosive destruction technology chosen to destroy Kentucky’s mustard agent stockpile, arrives at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant in August 2015.
Chemical stockpile destruction in Colorado was initiated on March 18, 2015 by the Explosive Destruction System, located on the U.S. Army Pueblo Chemical Depot near the Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant. This event marks the first step towards eliminating the final 10 percent of the U.S. chemical weapons stockpile.
Video: PCAPP Explosive Destruction System: The First Step in Eliminating Munitions
Bechtel Pueblo and Bechtel Parsons Blue Grass teams earn recertification of Star Status in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Voluntary Protection Program.
Video: PCAPP Safety: Written in the Stars
Construction begins on the Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant Explosive Destruction System (EDS) site, located at the U.S. Army Pueblo Chemical Depot. The first of two EDS units arrive on site, aligning with the completion of specially-designed environmental enclosures that will house the EDS units for added protection.
The PEO ACWA Anniston Field Office is established in June 2014 to ensure that the technical expertise and experience of the staff at the former Anniston Chemical Agent Disposal Facility, as well as the facility’s Static Detonation Chamber, is preserved and available to be leveraged during chemical weapons destruction in Colorado and Kentucky.
Video: Anniston Experience Supports U.S. Chemical Weapons Destruction
The Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant receives approval from the Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection to begin initial construction activities of an Explosive Destruction Technology facility.
Pueblo: Program Executive Officer Conrad F. Whyne announced his selection of the U.S. Army’s Explosive Destruction System to augment the Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant in order to safely destroy chemical munitions unsuited for processing by the main plant’s automated equipment.
Blue Grass: To meet the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act and Title 32 Code of Federal Regulations Part 651, ACWA, in conjunction with the Blue Grass Army Depot, completes an environmental assessment regarding the possible use of explosive destruction technologies, or EDT in Blue Grass. Following a public comment period, and review of the comments, it is concluded that no significant environmental impacts will occur due to the proposed installation and operation of an EDT. Subsequently, Bechtel Parsons Blue Grass receives approval from PEO ACWA to begin initial work on an EDT system at the Blue Grass plant. Following a competitive procurement process, Bechtel Parsons selects the Static Detonation Chamber.
Video: Explosive Destruction System: How it Works
Video: Proven Technology to Fulfill Mission at Blue Grass
The Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant officially declares construction complete on Dec. 12, 2012.
To meet the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act and Title 32 Code of Federal Regulations Part 651, ACWA, in conjunction with the U.S. Army Pueblo Chemical Depot, completes an environmental assessment regarding the possible use of an explosive destruction technology, or EDT in Pueblo. Following a public comment period, and review of the comments, it is concluded that no significant environmental impacts will occur due to the proposed installation and operation of an EDT.
ACWA is redesignated Program Executive Office, Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives, or PEO ACWA, and administratively reassigned to the U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center. This transition is directed to increase the program’s visibility and obtain necessary support and resources. As mandated by law, the program’s direct reporting connection to the Department of Defense remains unchanged. Conrad F. Whyne assumes ACWA leadership as Program Executive Officer.
The Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant declares the Fire Water Pump House to be the first building at the facility to be complete and ready for operations.
The arrival of the Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives Test Equipment, or ATE, at the Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant signifies a major milestone towards pilot plant operations as the ATE will be used for practice and training as part of systemizing the facility.
The Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics certifies the ACWA program to Congress under the Nunn-McCurdy Act. This certification is the result of a nearly six-month program review to determine the factors that led to the “critical” Nunn-McCurdy cost breach reported to Congress in December 2010. The Under Secretary subsequently directs ACWA to proceed with the program without any significant changes to the destruction technology.
Bechtel Parsons Blue Grass team receives Star Status and Bechtel Pueblo Team earns recertification of Star Status in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Voluntary Protection Program.
The Department of Defense accepts the final design for the Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant.
The systemization phase begins at Pueblo and Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plants. Construction teams turn over the first subsystems to the start-up groups for systemization testing and commissioning to begin to prepare the facilities for chemical weapons destruction operations.
Video: Systemization at the Pueblo and Blue Grass Chemical-Agent Destruction Pilot Plants
Department of Defense’s May 2009 Semi-Annual Report to Congress clarified that on-site treatment and disposal of hydrolysate for both locations would continue unless unforeseen technical difficulties arise.
Video: PCAPP and the Community Share in National Safety Award
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment grants Stage 3 Permit Modification to the Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant (PCAPP) Resource Conservation and Recovery Act permit, authorizing the Pueblo team to construct facilities used to store and treat munitions, chemical agent and secondary wastes.
Operation Swift Solution, the effort to safely eliminate three deteriorating steel containers and wastes associated with the management of these containers that were stored at the Blue Grass Army Depot, starts in Kentucky. The first phase is successfully completed, with all the liquid nerve agent mixture previously stored in the three deteriorating steel containers drained and neutralized.
The Department of Defense formally certifies ACWA to Congress under the provisions of Nunn-McCurdy. The Acquisition Program Baseline for the ACWA program is approved by the Department of Defense with a total program life-cycle cost of approximately $8 billion.
The Department of Defense accepts the final design for the Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant.
ACWA is activated as U.S. Army Element, Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives, a separate reporting activity under U.S. Army Materiel Command. Under this arrangement, ACWA receives administrative and logistics support from Army Materiel Command, but the ACWA program manager continues to report directly to the Department of Defense. Kevin J. Flamm is named program manager.
The Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant conducts a groundbreaking ceremony in October 2006.
The Department of Defense directs ACWA to redesign the Pueblo and Blue Grass projects to better balance cost and schedule objectives. ACWA presents design options to senior Department of Defense officials who authorize the resumption of design work.
Following the issuance of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act permit by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment as well as the Certificate of Designation by Pueblo County, Pueblo site civil work begins.
A Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant Groundbreaking Open House is held in 2004 to celebrate Stage One construction and honor thousands of former and current employees of the U.S. Army Pueblo Chemical Depot.
The Department of Defense approves neutralization followed by supercritical water oxidation as the official destruction method for the Kentucky chemical weapons stockpile.
Video: What is Supercritical Fluid?
ACWA’s name is changed to Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives to reflect the change from assessment program to implementation program.
The Department of Defense approves neutralization followed by biotreatment as the official destruction method for the Colorado stockpile.
Video: PCAPP Overview
Public Law 207-248 assigns ACWA responsibility for destruction of the chemical weapons stored in Kentucky and Colorado if alternative technologies are chosen.
Public Law 104-208 establishes the Assembled Chemical Weapons Assessment, or ACWA, program and provides funding to identify and demonstrate alternatives to incineration for the destruction of assembled chemical weapons.
Video: ACWA Overview