By Mr. Tony Lopez (Joint Munitions Command)October 31, 2019
KINGSPORT, Ten. -- Joint Munitions Command strives to continuously modernize its munitions plants to meet future requirements to ensure it provides the Joint Force with ready, reliable, lethal munitions at the speed of war to sustain global readiness while maintaining environmental compliance.
One such multi-year modernization effort was recently completed at the Holston Army Ammunition Plant. In 2014, HSAAP and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation entered into a compliance agreement to reduce the amount of RDX explosive discharged into a nearby river. RDX explosive is a commonly used compound for military munitions production.
Through a collaborative effort, JMC, Army Contracting Command, with funding from the Program Director-Joint Services, completed 14 separate projects, totaling $135M which were executed between 2014 and 2019 and doubled the size of the existing industrial waste water treatment facility.
These projects consisted of aeration basins; anoxic basins; media filters; equalization basins; clarifiers; a belt filter press; pump buildings; electrical building; and an air blower building to support the new treatment units; in addition to new waste water treatment technology. The Environmental Protection Agency and TDEC issued the closure of the compliance agreements in August 2019 and April 2019 respectively. BAE Systems Inc., HSAAP operating contractor, finished the 14 projects ahead of schedule using sub-contractors with oversight from PD-JS, CCDC and HSAAP staff.
"These 14 projects were a huge concerted effort by senior leaders to upgrade the HSAAP facilities for environmental compliance and future requirements," said Emily Heilig, project engineer, Holston modernization, JMC Headquarters.
The Equalization Project, which included a five million gallon equalization basin and a two and a-half million gallon equalization basin, was completed in September 2018. The amount of RDX going to the Holston River has been reduced the RDX from an average of 100 pounds/day monthly average in 2011, to less than 3.5 pounds/day monthly average in 2018. The quarterly surface water samples for RDX taken on the Holston River at six locations downstream of the plant have been reduced from six parts per billion in 2012, to below one part per billion or below the detection limit since April 2016. As of September 2019, HSAAP is in full compliance with all National Pollution Discharge Elimination System limits for the past 13 months.
Modernization efforts to create reliable mission infrastructure and ensure environmental compliance will continue to be a focus of JMC. JMC strives to optimize its ability to provide munitions readiness while being good environmental stewards.