What Lies Ahead for Pueblo's Chemical Weapons

June 1 2009, 10:52 AM

A state-of-the-art factory will be built on the open prairie at the Pueblo Chemical Depot to destroy the mustard-gas weapons that have long been stored there. U.S. Senator Mark Udall, a Colorado Democrat, visited the depot on Saturday, saying that in his 10 years as a federal lawmaker, he's always supported neutralizing the weapons (via the Pueblo Chieftain). The mustard gas--first ordered to be eliminated in the 1980s--will be gone by 2017 (later than deadline) if the federal government agrees to fully fund $250 million for operations at the Pueblo depot and elsewhere. NewsChannel 13 in Colorado Springs has video from inside the depot. Earlier this month, National Journal's Global Security Newswire noted that the Pueblo site and the Blue Grass Army Depot in Kentucky are the only two places in the Unites States where chemical-weapons disposal has yet to be initiated, as required under the Chemical Weapons Convention. The convention calls for the full elimination of the U.S. chemical arsenal by 2012. The Russians, meanwhile, stated on Friday that they're going to begin similar efforts, destroying 45 percent of their chemical weapons stockpile by the end of this year, according to United Press International.