Sen. Salazar Statement on Pueblo Chemical Depot Report
Today, United States Senator Ken Salazar released the following statement after the Department of Defense Chemical Demilitarization Program, released the latest report about plans for destroying the U.S. stockpile of chemical weapons, including those stored near Pueblo, Colorado. The report provided an outlook for Pueblo Chemical Depot meeting the 2017 deadline for destroying all the chemical munitions stored at the site.
"I am encouraged by the early indication that the Department of Defense will be able to meet the 2017 deadline. Doing so will require accelerating the program by increasing staff and shifting to round-the-clock operations. The final assessment from the DOD on meeting the 2017 deadline is expected this fall. I fully expect the results of that assessment to be incorporated into the Administration's 2010 chemical demilitarization budget request. As the Congressional budget process moves forward, I will continue to push the Department of Defense to keep their end of the bargain to safely and expeditiously destroy the weapons stockpile."
In the 2008 Defense Appropriations, passed and signed into law, Senator Salazar was successfully able to include an amendment that set the hard deadline of 2017 for destroying the weapons stockpile at Pueblo. Senator Salazar also was able to include an amendment to the Defense Authorization bill requiring the Department of Defense to provide semiannual reports on the measures and funding required to meet the hard deadline of December 31, 2017. The 2017 would only be enforced if the Department of Defense fails to meet the Chemical Weapons Convention Treaty deadline of 2012 as currently required.