Chemical weapons destruction shut down by COVID because of full hospitals

RICHMOND, Ky. (WTVQ) – One of the region’s largest employers has been shut down temporarily by COVID.

But it’s not the way many people might think.

The Bluegrass Pilot Plant which handles chemical weapons destruction at the Bluegrass Army Depot in Richmond, is not operating right now because all the hospitals in the community are full.

That army of the facility employs as many as 1,500 people in the weapons destruction process.

The contract for the weapons destruction requires hospital beds to be available in case of an accident at the facility so workers can be treated.

“The hospitals are now full so with that criteria not being able to be fulfilled, operations at the plant had to cease temporarily until we can get past the surge from the COVID situation,” Craig Williams told the Legislature’s Interim Joint Committee on Veterans, Military Affairs and Public Protection during a hearing Wednesday.

Williams is with the Kentucky Environmental Foundation and serves as a liaison between Madison County officials and the Pentagon and on the Citizens Advisory Committee that links base operations to the community.

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