The Department of Defense was directed by Congress through Public Law 99-145 to be the government agency responsible for destruction of the chemical weapons stockpile. To comply with treaty agreements and congressional mandate, destruction of these weapons was to be completed by 2007. An additional five-year extension was exercised allowing the program to meet a 2012 deadline.
The Chemical Materials Agency (CMA) was created in February 2003 and combines the demilitarization and storage functions under a single organization. The program manager for Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives (ACWA) is responsible for the disposal of the chemical weapons stockpile in Colorado and Kentucky, and has a congressional deadline of 2017.
The U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville, is the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ agent for facility design and facility construction of chemical demilitarization facilities. The U.S. Army Rock Island Contracting Command, Rock Island, Illinois, is the contracting agency.
Pueblo Chemical Depot, Colorado
Blue Grass Chemical Activity, Kentucky
Public Law 104-208 established the ACWA program to study alternative technologies. In July 2002, DOD approved neutralization followed by biotreatment as the technology for the Pueblo facility. A systems contract was awarded in September 2002 to Bechtel National Inc. Neutralization followed by supercritical water oxidation was selected as the technology for the Blue Grass facility. A systems contract was awarded in June 2003 to the Bechtel-Parsons team.
Also in June 2003, the ACWA program formally changed its name to Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives to better reflect its newly expanded role: overseeing the full-scale pilot testing of neutralization technologies to destroy the chemical weapons stockpiles in Colorado and Kentucky. Main plant operations began at Pueblo in September 2016 and 141.7 tons of munitions have been destroyed as of May 12, 2017. Construction activities are 99 percent complete at Blue Grass facilities as of May 12, 2017.
Bio-Threat Reduction Program - Kazakhstan
The Huntsville Center’s Chemical Warfare Design Center is assisting the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) in design and construction management oversight of a Central Reference Laboratory, in Almaty, Kazakhstan, — a state-of-the-art medical research facility similar to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States. They will be studying and verifying issues such as Avian Bird Flu, Swine Fever and plague.
The U.S. has an interest in this effort through DTRA in regard to foreign aid as well as stopping severe outbreaks before they spread to our local and distant interests. Construction and validation of the laboratory are expected to continue through 2017.
Download the Chemical Demilitarization Fact Sheet (PDF)
Chemical Demilitarization fact sheet
(as of September 2018)