By Seth Littrell
Register News Writer
MADISON COUNTY —
While the main Blue Grass Army Depot work force remains unaffected by the recent government shutdown, another group working at the depot has not been so lucky.
Blue Grass Chemical Activity, a tenant of BGAD and the organization responsible for the storage of chemical weapons there, has had non-exempt employees placed on furlough because of a lack of government appropriation, according to Linda Loebach, public affairs officer for the Joint Munitions Command.
Loeback said the reason BGCA is affected by the shutdown when the depot itself is not has to do with the way the different groups are funded.
BGCA receives funding directly through congressional appropriation, meaning its money comes straight from the federal government. BGAD, however, has what Loeback called a different “funding stream.” As a “landowner” organization, the depot operates more like a business, generating money in different ways. BGCA is a “tenant” of the depot, and not a self-sustaining entity.
However, Loeback said that although BGCA is affected by the shutdown, not all the group’s employees have been furloughed. Exemptions have been made for workers whose presence is necessary to ensure the safety of the chemical weapons.
“I want to affirm that BGAD is maintaining safe and secure storage of the chemical stockpile with exempted personnel,” she said. “Non-exempt employees are furloughed currently, because they are paid with appropriated funds, which are those we now are waiting for Congress to approve.”
The Register attempted to contact BGCA to determine the number of workers who had been furloughed only to learn that public affairs officers with the organization had been furloughed.
Seth Littrell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 624-6623.