Waste From Blue Grass Chemical Disposal Project Reaches Texas

The first batch of wastewater produced by a small-scale chemical warfare materials disposal project at the Blue Grass Army Depot in Kentucky has arrived at a Texas incinerator, the Richmond Register reported Saturday (see GSN, Feb. 11).

The U.S. Defense Department used mobile technology to chemically neutralize sarin nerve agent stored in three bulk containers after a leak was found in one of the tanks.

“Our team has reached the beginning of the end,” said Timothy Blades, operations director for the Army's Edgewood Chemical Biological Center in Maryland, which provided the personnel and technology for Operation Swift Solution. “We now are focused on the closure work that must also be carried out with no less strict attention to safety.”

Two truckloads of caustic hydrolysate arrived at Veolia Environmental Services in Port Arthur, Texas, on Thursday. The plant is expected to burn a total of 8,000 gallons of wastewater produced by the Blue Grass project.

The mobile Chemical Agent Transfer System must also be disassembled and returned to the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland, while the halved steel containers are set for decontamination and recycling.

Work continues to build a full-scale facility for disposal of the entire chemical stockpile at Blue Grass (see GSN, Dec. 4, 2008).

“Operation Swift Solution gives us an excellent real-world opportunity to test our procedures for command and control, emergency response notification, inspection and oversight of chemical agent,” said Lt. Col. David Musgrave, commander of Blue Grass Chemical Activity. “We are all better prepared for the future" (Richmond Register, Feb. 28).

March 4, 2009
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The first batch of wastewater produced by a small-scale chemical warfare materials disposal project at the Blue Grass Army Depot in Kentucky has arrived at a Texas incinerator, the Richmond Register reported Saturday (see GSN, Feb. 11).