Work continues on a multi-million dollar disposal facility designed to eliminate chemical munitions stored at the Bluegrass Army Depot. Under the current Army timeline, actual destruction of nerve and mustard gas agents is set to start in 2020. As technology improves, Chemical Weapons Working Group Director Craig Williams says ‘neutralization’ will remain their preferred method of disposal.
“If someone was to try and change tracks on the technology now, it would set the completion date back at least a decade and maybe more,” said Williams.
Williams calls a change in destruction strategy, ‘unfathomable.’ The Army officially endorsed the neutralization method about a decade ago. Craig Williams says the 2020 start up is a very conservative date..
“It’s better for us strategically, on the international stage, to say we’re not gonna be done until 2023 and then get done in 2020. We look good. We come in under the wire. We can say we’ve fulfilled our obligations as stated and done even better,” added Williams.
Last week, a study was announced to look into new employments for the depot and its workers, once the clean-up is complete. There’s concern those jobs will be lost to Madison County.