Mustard gas is a weapon from a bygone era. And yet Colorado's home to a huge stockpile of the stuff at the Army's Pueblo Chemical Depot. Under an international treaty, the United States is required to destroy these weapons, so a plant was built to neutralize the poison using water. But there are problems. And now the Army's talking about using a detonator instead, writes Peter Roper of The Pueblo Chieftain:
“The water-based plant has been shut down while Bechtel engineers try to solve operational problems. Some of the solids and rusty metal in old mustard-gas howitzer and mortar rounds have clogged and broken the internal lines in the plant, which was built by Bechtel."
Roper spoke with Colorado Matters about the events that led to this point in the process, and the controversy over possible solutions:
"Army officials want to install two weapons incinerators, called "static detonation chambers," at the Pueblo chemical weapons destruction plant, saying they offer the best chance of destroying all the mustard-agent weapons stored here by 2023, the government's target year."