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28 August 2002
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U.S. Army Soldier and Biological Chemical Command:

FEMA Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program:

US Army Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program:

Pueblo County, CO Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program:

Chemical Stockpile Emergency 
Preparedness Program

     The United States has maintained a stockpile of chemical munitions since the 1950's.  Although the U.S. never used the chemical weapons in combat, the Army produced the weapons to deter the threat of chemical attacks from foreign forces.  Currently, the United States safely stores chemical agents at eight sites across the country.  These sites are located in Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Oregon, and Utah.  Munitions are also stockpiled at Johnston Atoll in the South Pacific.

     Approximately 8.5% of the nation’s stockpile is stored at the U.S. Army Pueblo Chemical Depot (PCD) located east of Pueblo.  The depot is situated on 23,000 acres in Pueblo County.  Its stockpile consists of mustard agent stored in projectiles and mortar rounds.  These munitions are stored in earth-covered structures in the depot’s chemical storage area.  The ammunition storage area is secured and the area is patrolled 24 hours a day.

     Mustard agent is a persistent blister-causing chemical.  It has a consistency and appearance similar to a heavy motor oil.  Initial effects of mustard exposure include a burn, like a sunburn, to the skin. Effects of mustard exposure may not appear for several hours after initial exposure.

     Until the chemical weapons are completely destroyed nationwide, Congress ordered the creation of a program to enhance emergency preparedness of the communities surrounding each chemical storage site.  In 1988, the Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program (CSEPP) began nationwide to enhance emergency preparedness plans and procedures.  Since CSEPP began, Pueblo County, the U.S. Army and its Pueblo Chemical Depot, the State of Colorado, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency have worked together to improve their ability to protect the areas that immediately surround Pueblo Chemical Depot.

     The improvements and equipment provided to Pueblo County through CSEPP are available for use in the event of any major emergency, and will remain in place even after the stockpile is destroyed.  Some of the CSEPP funded benefits include training and protective equipment for emergency responders, communications and alerting equipment, and improved Emergency Operations Centers.

     Although the possibility of an emergency involving the stored chemical weapons at Pueblo Chemical Depot is 1 in 100,000,000, an important function of emergency planning is the identification of those areas that could be effected from an emergency.  The areas that surround Pueblo Chemical Depot are divided into Emergency Planning Zones called the Immediate Response Zone and the Protective Action Zone.  

Federal Register, August 28, 2002:

[Federal Register: August 28, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 167)]
[Page 55207-55208]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access []



Department of the Army

Notice of Availability (NOA) of the Record of Decision (ROD) for
Disposal of Chemical Weapons at the Pueblo Chemical Depot (PCD),

AGENCY: Department of the Army, DoD.

ACTION: Notice of availability.


SUMMARY: This announces the availability of the ROD for the design,
construction, and operation of a facility for the destruction of
chemical agents at the PCD. The ROD documents and explains the Defense
Acquisition Executive's decision to select chemical neutralization
followed by biotreatment for the destruction of the mustard chemical
agent stored at the PCD. A variety of factors were considered in making
this decision, including, but not limited to, mission needs, cost,
schedule, environmental considerations, public concerns, and compliance
with the Chemical Weapons Convention.

ADDRESSES: To obtain a copy of the ROD, contact the Program Manager for
Chemical Demilitarization, Public Outreach and Information Office
(ATTN: Ms. Sandra Clawson-Freeo), Building E-4585, Aberdeen Proving
Ground, Maryland 21010-4005.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Sandra Clawson-Freeo at 410-436-
1479, by fax at 410-436-5122, by electronic mail at Sandra.Clawson-
Freeo@pmcd,apgea, or by mail at the above listed address.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In its ROD on February 26, 1988 (53 FR 5816,
February 26, 1988) for the Final Programmatic Environmental Impact
Statement (EIS) on the Chemical Stockpile Disposal Program (CSDP), the
Department of the Army selected on-site disposal by incineration at all
eight chemical munition storage sites located within the continental
United States as the method by which it will destroy its lethal
chemical stockpile. The Department of the Army published a Notice of
Intent in the Federal Register (65 FR 20140-41, April 14, 2000) which
provides notice that, pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act
(NEPA) and implementing regulations, it was preparing a draft site-
specific EIS for the Pueblo Chemical Agent Disposal Facility. On May
11, 2001, the Army published a Draft EIS to assess the site-specific
health and environmental impacts of on-site disposal of the chemical
agents and munitions stored at the PDC. The Final EIS was published on
April 17, 2002. All public comments received during the NEPA process
have been considered in making this decision.
    The Program Manager for Assembled Chemical Weapons Assessment
(ACWA) prepared a separate EIS. The ACWA EIS is for follow-on pilot
testing of the ACWA Program pursuant to the process established by
Congress in Public Laws 104-208 and 105-261. The ACWA EIS emphasizes
the feasibility of pilot testing one or more of the ACWA technologies
at one of more sites. One of the four sites evaluated in the ACWA EIS
was the PCD. Information provided by the ACWA Program concerning the
neutralization technologies provided the basis for analysis of the
neutralization technologies and comparison with incineration in this
site-specific EIS for stockpile destruction at Pueblo. This site-
specific EIS and the ACWA EIS serve complementary purposes.

    Dated: August 21, 2002.
Raymond J. Fatz,
Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army (Environment, Safety and
Occupational Health, OASA(I&E).
[FR Doc. 02-21874 Filed 8-27-02; 8:45 am]


USGS photo 22 Sep 1999

USGS topo 1 Jul 1981

USGS photo 22 Sep 1999

USGS photo 22 Sep 1999

USGS photo 22 Sep 1999

USGS photo 22 Sep 1999

USGS photo 22 Sep 1999