PBCDF surpasses 50% completion of final disposal campaign
December 23, 2009
PINE BLUFF ARSENAL, Ark. - The Pine Bluff Chemical Agent Disposal Facility (PBCDF) successfully surpassed the 50 percent completion mark for processing the mustard agent-filled ton containers, the final disposal campaign of the Arsenal's chemical weapons stockpile, December 23, 2009.
"This is truly a significant processing achievement. More than 2.8 million pounds of mustard agent have been safely destroyed," said Mark Greer, PBCDF site project manager.
"The amount of agent already safely processed during the mustard campaign is more than the combined amount processed during our three previous campaigns."
Ton container disposal operations began in December 2008. The ton containers are the last disposal campaign at the Arsenal. Operations are scheduled to last three years.
"We are confident that we will complete disposal operations by the Chemical Weapons Convention Treaty date of April 29, 2012," said Mark Greer, PBCDF site project manager.
"Currently we are operating ahead of schedule. The early completion estimate in the Transition Planning Guide predicts the end of the ton container disposal campaign to be in December 2010."
Following the completion of disposal operations, PBCDF will begin its facility closure phase. During this time the disposal facility will be decontaminated and dismantled in accordance with the site's Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) permit.
"This milestone represents the dedicated safety culture and focus on operational excellence demonstrated by our people to achieve this status of the project," said Guy Campbell, acting project general manager for Washington Demilitarization Company, LLC EG&G Division of the URS Corporation, which operates the plant for the Army.
Chemical weapons disposal operations began at the Arsenal in March 2005 with the GB nerve-agent filled rockets. The second disposal campaign, VX nerve-agent filled rockets, ended in February 2008; and the third disposal campaign, VX nerve-agent filled landmines, ended in June 2008. Unlike the previous disposal campaigns that dealt with nerve agent, the final disposal campaign deals with mustard, a blister agent.
Prior to chemical weapons disposal operations, the Pine Bluff Arsenal safely stored approximately 3,850 tons of chemical agent or 12 percent of the Army's original chemical weapons stockpile for more than 60 years.