Kentucky to receive funds to dispose of biological and chemical weapons

Under President Barack Obama's recently announced proposed 2011 budget, two army sites would receive $511 million for the disposal of biological and chemical weapons.

The Blue Grass Army Depot in Richmond, Kentucky, and the Pueblo Chemical Depot in Colorado would receive the proposed funds.

Construction on a disposal site in Kentucky is already under way and the Pueblo Chemical Depot is scheduled to destroy 2,611 tons of mustard agent in weapons in the near future. The Kentucky facility currently plans to dispose of 523 tons of nerve and blister agents that are contained in projectiles and rockets.

The proposed funding was praised by Craig Williams, the executive director of the Chemical Weapons Working Group, which is a Berea, Kentucky-based citizens watchdog organization.

“The 2011 request is most welcome news as it reflects a commitment by the administration and [Defense] Secretary [Robert] Gates to follow through on their promises to fully fund the program,” Williams said in an e-mail to Louisville's Courier-Journal.

The Blue Grass Army Depot is tasked with providing munitions, chemical defense equipment and special operations support to the Department of Defense. It is a Tier 1 Power Projection Platform for munitions, chemical defense equipment and special operations support.

The depot's Blue Grass Chemical Activity is responsible for the safe storage, monitoring and disposal of the depot's stockpile of chemical weapons.