Chemical Weapons Facility Prepares for Operations

CSEPP

RICHMOND, Ky. – The Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant (BGCAPP) is undergoing final preparations before destruction of chemical weapons stored at the Blue Grass Army Depot begins.
“This is what we’ve been working toward for years,” said Jeff Brubaker, BGCAPP site project manager. “We are ready to take the next step in destroying these obsolete weapons, fulfilling international obligations and making the world a safer place.”
The destruction of mustard agent munitions is slated to begin in June while the destruction of nerve agent weapons will begin in the fall.
“It has taken thousands of skilled and experienced workers to successfully bring the project to this point,” said Ron Hink, Bechtel Parsons Blue Grass (BPBG) project manager. “Throughout each phase of the project we have been able to instill and maintain a safety mentality that we intend to carry through operations.”
BPBG employees have completed 11,707,517 hours and 1,765 days without a lost time accident and a recordable injury rate 77 percent lower than the industry average.
Mustard agent munitions will be destroyed in the Explosive Destruction Technology facility using a Static Detonation Chamber, while nerve agent munitions will be destroyed in the main plant using neutralization followed by supercritical water oxidation.“Our workforce has worked long and hard to methodically test each plant component and then prove out those components working together as systems,” Hink said. “Through those efforts we are demonstrating the plant is ready for agent operations.”
Since groundbreaking in 2003, BGCAPP has worked with a number of partners and oversight organizations to begin chemical weapons destruction. These include the Blue Grass Army Depot, Blue Grass Chemical Activity, Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a number of Department of Defense organizations and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.
BGCAPP will safely and efficiently destroy a stockpile of 523 tons of mustard and nerve agent in projectiles and rockets currently in storage at the Blue Grass Army Depot.
Chemical weapons destruction operations are scheduled to finish in 2023.
For more information on the project, please visit the Program Executive Office, Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives website at www.peoacwa.army.mil.
Since construction of the main plant was complete in 2015, the project has been in the systemization phase, where equipment and processes are put through a series of tests to ensure their functionality leading into operations.

Featured Article
Local Emergency Management Director Training

Kentucky Emergency Management held training for newly appointed and experienced local emergency management professionals in Frankfort in April. In attendance was newly appointed Garrard County Emergency Management Director Tim Scott and CSEPP Director Jay Overman. The course was to give local professionals a basic understanding of and updates on Emergency …

Featured Article
Blue Alerts Notify the Public When Police Are Injured or Killed

The Blue Alerts are delivered through FEMA’s Integrated Public Alert and Warning System to notify the public of imminent danger. It’s already played a role in the capture of one cop killer. When Newman, Calif., police officer, Ronil Singh, was murdered in December 2018, a Blue Alert was issued to …

CSEPP
Crews Begin Training for Munitions Movement

Munitions delivery operators are training to receive chemical munitions from storage at the Blue Grass Chemical Activity and transport them to the Blue Grass plant to support operations. “Right now, we’re developing familiarity with the actions, tasks and procedural direction for munitions transport,” said Bill Nieminen, munitions handling manager, Bechtel …