Bluegrass Army Depot Entering Swan Song

Mar 13, 2019

Officials spent two hours on Wednesday answering questions about the destruction of chemical weapons at the Bluegrass Depot.
Credit Mary Meehan

In an afternoon filled with acronyms and college-level science the overarching theme emerging was that the decades long discussion of the Bluegrass Army Depot  is nearing an end.

“This could be our swan song. Actually Harry thought we should sing a verse of Eve of Destruction, but I'm not sure if that's really appropriate. But you know, we're on it. We're very close now folks. It's been a long time.”

That’s Craig Williams. He is been working on safely containing the chemical weapons at the Madison County site for decades. He and dozens of others met on the Eastern Kentucky University campus on Wednesday during a meeting of the Chemical Destruction Community Advisory Board.

Disposal of the 523 tons chemical weapons, including mustard gas and nerve agents, will soon begin. Williams and others speakers at the two-hour long meeting praised the community effort that has pushed the project forward.

Williams said that there are over 1,200 people working the depot and that means it is a big part of the local economy.

“As you saw there are 1,200 or so  people out there now eventually is going to be 0 how do we deal with that? How do we deal with the impact that those people leaving has not only on the tax base of the county in the city, but in general.”

Craig pointed out that groceries, apartment complexes, even, restaurants could be impacted when such a large number of workers are no longer needed. But Williams says the stakeholders are already working together to be able to mitigate the loss of jobs.

Click here for more information about the Bluegrass Army Depot and the chemical weapons stored there.