McConnell Amendment Agreed To: Should Put Disposal Of Blue Grass Army Depot Weapons On Track To Break Ground Next Year
from the Office of Senator Mitch McConnell
U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell announced today that the FY'06 Department of Defense Appropriations Conference Report includes a provision he authored that involves the Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives (ACWA) program. This amendment should ensure that ground is broken for the disposal project at the Blue Grass Army Depot next year.
DOD had requested $33 million in FY 2006 funds for chemical weapons disposal at Blue Grass Army Depot and Pueblo Depot, Colorado, largely for Research & Development (R&D) purposes instead of construction purposes. The McConnell Amendment would not only provide $20 million in additional funding for ACWA but would also permit R&D funds to be used for construction activities - thus permitting a 2006 groundbreaking.
"My amendment provides $53 million for ACWA, including $51 million that can be used for construction purposes, which should put us on a path to begin preliminary work at Blue Grass Army Depot next year," said Senator McConnell. "After 20 years of working closely with the local community to ensure the safe and efficient disposal of chemical weapons, that is very encouraging news."
This legislative effort comes on the heels of a provision Senator McConnell inserted into a recent appropriations bill that: 1) prevented DOD from using funds intended for Blue Grass and Pueblo at other facilities; and 2) forced DOD to begin spending funds at both sites immediately.