RICHMOND, Ky. — The Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant (BGCAPP) announced that on April 25, it reached a "significant" milestone in the destruction of 25% of the original 523 U.S. tons of chemical agent stored at the Blue Grass Army Depot (BGAD).
What You Need To Know
- Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant (BGCAPP) destroys 25% of chemical agent stored at Blue Grass Army Depot (BGAD)
- To accomplish the chemical weapons destruction mission, BGCAPP partners with BGAD and the Blue Grass Chemical Activity
- Destruction operations began in June 2019
- more than 130 tons of chemical agent have been destroyed
“It’s been a busy and exciting time for us, as we are currently involved with two of the plant’s five destruction campaigns, as well as systemization of the new rocket-processing line and construction of the Static Detonation Chamber 2000,” said BGCAPP Site Project Manager Dr. Candace Coyle. “I would like to recognize and applaud the Blue Grass team for safely reaching this milestone, especially during a pandemic situation.”
Coyle said current destruction campaigns, mustard-agent 155mm projectiles in the Explosive Destruction Technology facility and VX 155mm projectiles in the main plant and the previous completion of the GB 8-inch projectiles in the main plant contributed to the milestone.
According to a release from BGCAPP, workers have been following "firm" COVID-19 protocols since March 2020.
“I am very proud of how our team handled themselves through not only the destruction of 25% of the chemical weapons in a safe and effective manner, but also in remaining safe during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Ron Hink, Bechtel Parsons Blue Grass project manager. “Our focus has always been the safety of the workers first, and with that in mind, everyone buckled down and did what needed to be done to protect themselves and those around them.”
To accomplish the chemical weapons destruction mission, BGCAPP partners with BGAD and the Blue Grass Chemical Activity (BGCA).
“For decades now, BGCA has stored chemical weapons safely, securely and compliantly,” said BGCA Commander Lt. Col. Ed Williams. “The Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant’s destruction of 25% of BGCA’s original stockpile is not only encouraging, but it also fulfills our promise to our community. I am both humbled and proud of our toxic material handlers, inventory specialists, quality assurance specialists, monitoring personnel and other support elements whose commitment and contributions have been invaluable to this great milestone.”
Destruction operations began in June 2019, and as of April 25, more than 130 tons of chemical agent have been destroyed. The plant will undergo a changeover process to begin destroying VX M55 rockets once the VX 155mm projectile campaign is complete. The last campaign will be the destruction of GB M55 rockets. Under a congressionally mandated deadline, all chemical weapons are to be destroyed by the end of 2023.