Chemical Depot

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Colorado Senators Wayne Allard and Ken Salazar are calling on the Defense Department to start work on a plant to destroy to destroy munitions at the Pueblo Chemical Depot.

The senators have sent a letter to Defense Undersecretary Michael Wynne in response to his last week that said the project is on hold.

The plant has been in the works for years and is expected to generate about a thousand construction jobs in Pueblo area and up to 800 jobs over ten years. The Pueblo Depot has a stockpile of munitions containing mustard gas -- and an international treaty calls for getting rid of all such weapons by 2012.

But the depot is one of only two weapons sites that don't already have on-site plants to destroy the munitions. Allard and Salazar have said they were told last month that the weapons wouldn't be shipped somewhere else.

Last week -- defense officials said plants already in operation take priority and they are looking at various, less expensive options.

Allard and Salazar say that leaves the Pueblo area in limbo. They pledge to fight removal of the weapons.