Chemical Weapon Destruction Underway At Blue Grass Army Depot

Jun 12, 2019

Workers use a crane to lift the first 155mm projectile containing mustard agent to begin the destruction process in the Static Detonation Chamber at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant June 7, 2019.
Credit Blue Grass Army Depot

Destruction of mustard agent stored at the Blue Grass Army Depot has begun.  The announcement came Wednesday during a quarterly meeting of two citizen community advisory groups.

The first mustard munition went into the static detonation chamber on June 7th.  Site Project Manager for the Chemical Agent Destruction Plant, Candace Coyle said it’s best not to give public notice for a specific startup date. “We want to make sure we do things safely and we’re not putting the public at risk by doing it this way, but we have to make sure we’re mindful of the security requirements.  We are working on an Army Depot where we have a lot of munitions sitting here and it’s publicly known right,” said Coyle.

Coyle noted to date 30 mustard munitions have been destroyed.  She said there have been no surprises.    Blue Grass Army Depot Chief of Staff George Shuplinkov said he and his staff took note when the first mustard munition went into a vehicle to be taken to the chamber.  “We actually took it off, saved it as a historic piece of paper, says ‘look the first time on our work plan we were able to put down that we’re putting stuff in the EONCS.  Never happened before.  So we kind of, in my operations section, did a few high fives and we were excited that it’s started finally,” explained Shuplinkov.

Plans call for disposal of nerve agent to begin in late 2019.  The entire 523 tons of chemical weapons are to be destroyed by the end of 2023.​

Here's more from recently assigned Site Project Manager Candace Coyle:

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