The Program Executive Office, Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives (PEO ACWA) is responsible for the safe and environmentally compliant destruction of the chemical weapons stockpiles stored at the Pueblo Chemical Depot in Colorado and the Blue Grass Army Depot in Kentucky.
As a signatory to the Chemical Weapons Convention, the United States has destroyed nearly 90 percent of its original chemical weapons stockpile, which was successfully completed by the U.S. Army Chemical Materials Activity in January 2012. These remaining stockpiles represent the 10 percent for which PEO ACWA is responsible.
In Colorado, destruction of chemical agent munitions at the Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant began Sept. 7, 2016 and is expected to be complete in 2020. The facility, known as PCAPP (“pee-cap”), is using neutralization followed by biotreatment to destroy the Pueblo chemical weapons stockpile, which consists of 2,613 tons of blister agent mustard in artillery projectiles and mortar rounds. The Explosive Destruction System (EDS) is on stand-by to augment the heavily automated facility and is used to destroy problematic chemical munitions that cannot be easily processed through the main plant. The first EDS campaign lasted from March 18, 2015 to Feb. 11, 2016 and resulted in the destruction of 560 items containing mustard agent.
In Kentucky, the Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant, or BGCAPP, (“bee-gee cap”) will use neutralization followed by supercritical water oxidation to destroy the nerve agent stockpile. The Static Detonation Chamber will be used to destroy the mustard agent stockpile. BGCAPP’s secondary treatment technology differs from Pueblo because in addition to the blister agent mustard, the 523-ton Blue Grass stockpile contains the nerve agents VX and GB (Sarin) in rockets and artillery projectiles. Main plant construction is complete with systemization currently underway. The main plant is slated to become operational in 2020 and complete destruction operations in 2023.