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Depot chemical weapons disposal plant to see significant downsizing in 2025

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Blue Grass Army Depot-Chemical Activity
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file photo

The scaling down of the workforce at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant in Madison County is coming. It will take some time. The scale down is expected to be more noticeable in a little over two years. Members of two community advisory panels got an update on nerve agent disposal last week. Candace Coyle is the site project manager at the Army Depot facility.

She said plant worker numbers are scheduled to fall more significantly in 2025.

“At that point, we’re definitely into closure. We’re hopefully finishing off from 2024 the closure operations with the secondary waste of the drained warheads. At that point we would start downsizing the workforce based on just what is needed,” said Coyle.

Work began some time ago within the Madison County community on a plan to retain workers when operations at the disposal plant cease. The plan currently calls for a workforce at the plant of more than 14 hundred to fall to just under a thousand in 2025 and just over 500 in 2026.

Project Manager Ron Hink said an employee bee sting and a tripping injury were the only workplace reportable items.

“We just have to report those cause under OSHA rules it’s more treatment than first aid, but those are obviously very, very minor, so the team’s performance overall is exceptional when it comes to safety,” said Hink.

Hink reported, on average, no more than two cases of COVID are being reported each day. That’s out of a total workforce exceeding 14 hundred. Disposal of the remaining nerve agent munitions is scheduled to be finished by the end of next year.

Stu has been reporting for WEKU for more than 30 years.
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