RICHMOND, Ky. (FOX 56) — A project to destroy a stockpile of chemical weapons at Blue Grass Army Depot in Richmond is nearing its completion.
Since 2019, a plant at the depot has destroyed nearly 100,000 weapons. Wednesday, officials met to let the public know about the final phases of the project.
A Kentucky facility designed to destroy dangerous Cold War-era chemical weapons is nearing the end of its mission. Officials say they are in the last phase of the campaign to get rid of all the weapons stored there, estimating about 93% of the entire stockpile has been destroyed.
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Co-chair of Kentucky Chemical Demilitarization Citizens’ Advisory Commission Craig Williams said, “It’s a huge deal too and it also sets the tone hopefully to continue to dispose of other World War II and legacy materials that we no longer need or want and that have a potential to be very harmful to people.”
Site project manager for Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant (BGCAPP), Dr. Candace Coyle said, “So we are very close to finishing and once we are done, the U.S. has met its obligations through the treaty and the global platform.”
It is one of just two U.S. sites that still have chemical weapons in storage. The other one is located in Colorado, and it is just weeks away from having all of its weapons destroyed.
“They should be finished hopefully within the next month and then we will probably finish shortly thereafter, and we will be the last two. there was a total of, I believe, seven baseline sites, as we call them, that destroyed these munitions at different locations across the U.S. and in properties outside of it,” Coyle said.
Craig Williams who’s on a citizen’s advisory board related to the project said he’s been there since the beginning.
“I just think it’s great to have been a part of this. I’m hoping we get to the end game safely, and once we do, I’ll be able to exhale after 39 years of holding my breath,” Williams said.
Once all of the nerve gas rockets are gone, the U.S. will have met its obligations through an international treaty to end chemical warfare.