Register Staff Report
The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill Wednesday evening that “fully funds” the remaining construction of the chemical weapons destruction plant at the Blue Grass Army Depot.
The bill would provide the exact level of funding the Defense Department requested “to complete the construction of this project on time” in the coming fiscal year, according to U.S. Rep. Andy Barr, R-Sixth District.
The appropriation was included in a measure that funds the Department of Veterans Affairs as well as military construction, he said.
“I was glad to support passage of H.R. 4486, the FY2015 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations bill, and especially pleased that it included my request to fully fund the Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives program for the completion of construction for the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant at Blue Grass Army Depot in Richmond,” the congressman said in a statement released by his office.
Funding for the use of explosive detonation technology to destroy problematic mustard rounds unsuitable for processing by the massive destruction plant also was included in the bill.
The bill now goes to the U.S. Senate for its consideration.
Plant construction is 81 percent complete, but its operation is not expected to begin until 2020.
Construction will be followed by systemization and testing. However, some systemization has begun, and it is 16 percent complete, according to a timeline released by the congressman.