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US Army: New milestone destroying mustard agent in Colorado

July 1, 2021 GMT

PUEBLO, Colo. (AP) — The Army says it has reached a milestone at a Colorado chemical weapons depot by destroying more than 75% of decades-old shells containing mustard agent.

Walton Levi, site project manager of the U.S. Army Pueblo Chemical Depot, made the announcement in a statement Thursday.

The U.S. is destroying its chemical weapons stockpile under an international treaty known as the Chemical Weapons Convention. Mustard agent is being destroyed at the Colorado facility and mustard and nerve agent are being destroyed at the Blue Grass Army Depot in Kentucky.

The Pueblo Depot has stored 155m, 105mm and 4.2-inch mortar rounds since the early 1950s. Depot workers destroyed the last of the 155mm World War II-era shells in September and, since December, have destroyed more than 137,000 155mm projectiles.

The depot said some 1,935 tons (1760 metric tons) of mustard agent had been destroyed as of June 25. Mustard agent can maim or kill, blistering skin, scarring eyes and inflaming airways.

The plant started operating in 2016 with more than 780,000 munitions in its original stockpile containing 2,500 U.S. tons (2,270 metric tons) of mustard agent. It has a 2023 projected completion date.