The disposal of chemical weapons stored at Madison County’s Blue Grass Army Depot is slated to begin next summer. Wednesday’s quarterly meeting of two advisory boards included questions about the overall schedule of demolition.
The current timeline calls for all chemical munitions, some 500 tons, to be disposed of by 2023. But, Upper-level Department of Defense officials have proposed speeding up demolition. Harry Moberly serves on the Chemical Destruction Community Advisory Board. “There has been a new emphasis on speed and moving the process up. And we all want it to be done in an expeditious manner, but we want to make sure that safety to the community and worker safety always comes first before speed,” said Moberly.
Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant Site Project Manager Jeff Brubaker says community and worker safety is the top priority.
Moberly also asked if an effort to speed up disposal might mean destroying nerve agent munitions in the static detonation chamber.
Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant Site Project Manager Jeff Brubaker says that’s not being proposed. “The plan is that the majority of the chemical nerve agent stockpile would be processed in what we call the main plant. That’s the neutralization-based technology process to destroy those agents.”
Disposal of mustard agent is set to begin next summer through the use of the static detonation chamber process.