The Army has shifted $54.5 million in environmental cleanup funds to Pueblo Chemical Depot over the next two years, a move expected to provide a boon to reuse efforts at the portions of the central Colorado facility that have been decommissioned.
The funds will push the cleanup budget at the depot to $65.7 million in the coming fiscal year, reported the Pueblo Chieftain. The administration had proposed spending $11.2 million on the cleanup.
“This is huge,” said Russell DeSalvo, executive director of Puebloplex, formerly the Pueblo Depot Activity Reuse Commission. “We’ve been more vocal in letting our concerns be known. We’ve established a good working relationship with the Army and it’s important that they are listening,” he said.
The reuse authority is responsible for finding ways to reuse the depot when its mission to destroy chemical weapons is complete. The LRA now has primary responsibility for about two-thirds of the 23,000-acre site — everything but the area used to store and destroy chemical weapons.