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PFAS destruction: Blue Grass Army Depot could be a reception site

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Stu Johnson
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file photo

A longtime observer of chemical weapons storage and disposal in Madison County is keeping an eye on research aimed at destroying so-called “forever chemicals.” Craig Williams co-chairs the Chemical Destruction Community Advisory Board. He said studies are examining the feasibility of using supercritical water oxidation for destruction of PFAS.

“It’s a pervasive problem. You know, we’re all looking for a solution. I guess it just depends on how efficient it is during the testing and where they want to do it. Personally I prefer not to have Richmond, Madison County not become a hub for imported PFAS contaminated material,” said Williams

Three supercritical water oxidation units are at the Blue Grass Army Depot demilitarization site. They were found unsuitable for their original intent, which was to treat hazardous wastewater produced during chemical weapon neutralization. Williams said it’s too soon to determine if these units in central Kentucky would be an option for PFAS.

“The possibility exists that they could come in and do the testing here, determine that it is successful and then take the SCWO units down and send them to a location where it would be more appropriate, based on population and meteorology and so for these to be used for that application,” said Williams

Williams said there are many entities involved and there’s no way to predict when any decision might be made.

During a June meeting of community advisory groups, a power point presentation indicated there are no current plans to bring anything onto the Depot site for testing or treatment.

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