When President Bush signed the Duncan Hunter National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2009 into law on Oct. 14, 2008, the Military Construction authorization for the Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant was increased.

Authorization legislation sets policies and funding limits for government agencies and programs. This legislation raises the PCAPP MILCON authorization from $261 million, set in FY 2003, to $484 million, the amount requested by the Department of Defense. This action means that the U.S. Army Element, Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives program may now place under contract the full amount for the balance of PCAPP construction.

President Bush signed the Omnibus Spending Bill, or Continuing Resolution, on Sept. 30, 2008, appropriating the funds authorized for expenditure by the Authorization Act. Together, these two bills will allow Bechtel Pueblo, the project's systems contractor, to release subcontracts postponed last spring when the funding authorization appeared uncertain.

The issue of PCAPP's MILCON authorization was originally raised in April 2008 when officials expressed concern that the FY 2009 Authorization Act might be delayed, causing a temporary halt to project construction. The new legislation eliminates this concern and will allow PCAPP construction to move forward as planned.