As it stands now, destruction of aging chemical munitions stored at the Bluegrass Army Depot is scheduled to begin in 2017. But, the timeline could still change. The storing and disposal of chemical agents has been debated in central Kentucky for decades. The deadline for ridding the Bluegrass Army Depot of nerve and mustard agents has been pushed back more than once. Jeff Brubaker, manager of the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Plant project, says cost increases for the disposal program were noted in late 2010 and that prompted a six month review.
“The results of that review are now in review up above the ACWA headquarters with the department of defense elements that are responsible for over-sighting our program and we hope to hear soon what the results are,” said Brubaker.
Brubaker says results of the review which could impact the disposal timeline are anticipated in February or March. Lieutenant Colonel Steve Basso is commander of the Blue Grass Chemical Activity. When the destruction plant is completed, Basso’s officers will be responsible for transporting the agent from storage igloos to the facility, about a half mile away.
“I get a lot of questions from the community who think a leaker is ‘lots of agent coming out or on the ground, that is just not the case. It’s very very minute traces and once that happens, nothing ever leaves the igloos door. We hook up a filter, we filter all the air so nothing is released into the environment,” added Basso.
Workers at the destruction plant under construction were recognized last week with a national safety award through the U.S Occupational Safety and Health Administration.