Pine Bluff Chemical Agent Disposal Facility Munitions Handlers watch the last Enhanced
Onsite Container carrying VX M55 rockets being lifted by an overhead crane into the disposal facility's container handling building.
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Pine Bluff Arsenal (PBA) was one of nine Army installations in the United States that stored chemical weapons. The arsenal's chemical weapons stockiple consisted of various munitions and ton containers, containing GB or VX nerve agents or HD
blister agent. The chemical weapons originally stored at the arsenal consist of various munitions and ton containers, containing GB or VX nerve agents or mustard blister agent.
The Army designed the Pine Bluff Chemical Agent Disposal Facility (PBCDF) to destroy this chemical weapons stockpile, comprising approximately 12 percent of the nation’s original chemical weapons, in November 2010. This marked the end of nearly
seven decades of chemical weapons storage at the Arsenal. The facility and storage area are undergoing closure operations in accordance with strict internal policies and procedures and federal laws and regulations.
PBCDF started disposal operations by destroying M55 GB rockets and later GB containers, with the last GB rocket being processed in May 2007. This marked the end of all GB munitions at PBA. The facility began processing M55 VX rockets in October
2007, with the last VX rocket being destroyed in February 2008, marking the destruction of all stockpile chemical agent-filled rockets at PBA. They began their final campaign, destruction of mustard agent-filled ton containers in December 2008.
The facility used high-temperature incineration technology, a technology employed by the Army for more than a decade, safely and successfully disposing of more than 80 percent of the nation's original chemical weapons, including the 12 percent stored at PBA.
Additional facilities and systems treated and disposed of chemical warfare materiel not associated with the stockpile,
managed by the U.S. Army Chemical Materials Activity’s (CMA) Non-Stockpile Chemical Materiel Project (NSCMP).
The Pine Bluff Explosive Destruction System (PBEDS)
a transportable treatment technology used to process recovered chemical warfare materiel, began operations in June 2006 to destroy recovered
chemical warfare materiel items stored at PBA. It successfully completed operations in April 2010. Another NSCMP project was the
Ton Container (TC) Decontamination Facility, which decontaminated TCs stored at the arsenal, allowing the steel containers to be recycled. NSCMP
successfully completed TC decontamination operations in July 2011-decontaminating 4,307 TCs, which resulted in more than 6,500,000 pounds of recycled steel.
Throughout the years, NSCMP has successfully completed a number of projects at PBA – many ahead of international
treaty deadlines. From 2004 to 2006, more than 7,000 recovered chemical warfare
items were assessed using the Pine Bluff Munitions Assessment System, which identified the contents and explosive
condition of the items before processing to enhance safe handling, treatment and disposal at the arsenal. The Rapid
Response System, a transportable treatment technology, processed more than 5,300
Chemical Agent Identification Set (CAIS) items once stored at PBA and completed its mission in November 2006.
NSCMP also demolished the Pine Bluff Integrated Binary Production
Facilities (IBPF), and neutralized the remaining binary precursor chemicals, DF and QL. Neutralization of the
chemicals was completed in October 2006, and demolition of the last IBPF building took place in December 2006 – the
final former chemical weapons production facility destroyed in the United States.
Safety and Security
The safety of workers, the public and the environment are paramount to the success of the chemical weapons disposal mission. CMA and the Army arsenal oversee the secure storage of chemical munitions to ensure that they are safe.
Once munitions are slated for disposal, they are transported, treated and disposed of following strict internal processes and regulatory requirements. The CMA is committed to creating a safer tomorrow by permanently eliminating
the threat of aging chemical weapons to our communities and our nation. This mission has been accomplished at the PBA.
Public Participation and Community Relations
The Arkansas Citizens' Advisory Commission, whose members included area residents appointed by the governor, was a focal point for public participation in the Army's weapons storage and disposal program in Pine Bluff until the chemical weapons stockpile was eliminated in late 2010. The Commission was disbanded in early 2011.
The Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program works closely with your community and state emergency professionals to develop emergency plans and provide chemical accident response equipment and warning systems.
To learn more about the Army’s chemical weapons disposal mission visit the Pine Bluff Outreach Office for Chemical Disposal.
Army initiative avoids $290 million in costs [284KB pdf]
1/25/2013 Pine Bluff, AR - The U.S. Army Chemical Materials Activity recently realized a cumulative cost avoidance to taxpayers of more than $290 million by achieving the end of closure operations early at the Pine Bluff Chemical Agent Disposal Facility (PBCDF).
Pine Bluff Ton Container Decontamination Facility [614KB pdf]
11/2/2011 Pine Bluff, AR - The Pine Bluff Ton Container Decontamination Facility decontaminates empty steel ton containers stored at Pine Bluff Arsenal, Ark., enabling recycling of their high-grade steel.
Outreach Office for Chemical Disposal [1,003KB pdf]
3/15/2011 Pine Bluff, AR - The Outreach office serves as a one-stop source for information about the Army's disposal operations for chemical weapons and materiel stored at the Pine Bluff Arsenal