The federal government says no significant environmental damage would occur from the use of explosives to destroy munitions like mustard gas at the U.S. Army Pueblo Chemical Depot.
The Army said Monday it intends to use the explosives to destroy problem chemical munitions that cannot be processed by automated equipment in the Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant. The technology is called Explosive Destruction Technology and destroys the munitions inside special containers in a building that is currently under construction.
"The explosions take place in hardened vessels, so there's no chance of any mustard agent or any vapors being exposed to the environment or the community,” said Tom Schultz, a spokesperson for the depot.
"The biggest concern for me is that it's done in a safe manner, you know ten years from now we don't suddenly have a rise in birth defects" Nancy Rowe, who lives nearby.
The depot contains 2,600 tons of mustard agent awaiting destruction under an international treaty. A plant to neutralize the agent is under construction on the depot grounds.