Oct. 25 Colorado Chemical Demilitarization Citizens’ Advisory Commission Meeting

Oct. 25 Colorado Chemical Demilitarization Citizens’ Advisory Commission Meeting


>>Kornelly: I guess it’s kind of cruel to ask you to take a seat and then stand up again but we will stand for the Pledge of
Allegiance, please.>>everyone: I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”>>Kornelly: Good evening on this gorgeous October
evening. It is the regularly scheduled meeting of the Citizens Advisory
Commission Wednesday October 25th and it is approximately six o’clock. We will
begin our meeting with a review of the minutes from September 27th. Are there any
comments or corrections to be made about the minutes?>>Norton: Move to approve.>>Vincent: Second.>>Kornelly: It’s been moved and seconded to approve
the minutes. All in favor?>>CAC members: Aye.>>Kornelly: All opposed? Same sign.
Does anyone have any project announcements? Updates?
Most of those would be short I know there’s a whole lot of project updates
that come from the gentlemen to my left. Is there anything going on in Washington
DC Dwight that you think we should know about? [indistinct chatter] [laughter]>>Kornelly: That being… What’s that? [indistinct chatter]>>Kornelly: That being said I have
been reminded we do need to take role so Doug if you will start.>>Knappe: I’m Doug Knappe
with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.>>Hart: Terry Hart vice chair
of the CAC.>>Kornelly: Irene Kornelly, citizen and chair.>>Norton: John Norton, citizen member.>>Vincent: Ross Vincent, Sierra Club.>>Griffin: Ken Griffin, labor, citizen.>>Kornelly: We do indeed have a quorum. We’ll move on
to an update from Colonel Grice. [indistinct chatter]>>Col. Grice: Thank you, Irene. So just a few quick things and then I’m going to let
Colonel Sayer, my new military deputy say a few words. Really appreciate the
Veterans Day events here in Pueblo and down at Avondale and Boone. Look forward
to participating on the bridge for Veterans Day on the 11th in November and
just a really appreciative of the support of the veterans in this
community. I know we don’t normally talk about Restoration Advisory Board and
some of our environmental work but I just wanted to highlight that there’s a
lot of activity on the depot right now that we’re responsible for and really
proud of the team as we continue to remediate a lot of the leftover hazards
from other operations that we’ve done on the depot in the past. The other thing in
the highlight of what we were going to talk about tonight is that we’re
continuing to hire in a couple of populations within the depot our key for
us my largest population are my guards who provide security for both everybody
that works on the depot and then specifically on the Chemical Limited
Area, where we store our weapons. And so with that I was going to let Colonel Sayer
talk about hiring and how that process works.>>Col. Sayer: Again I’m Lieutenant Colonel Sayer. I
want to highlight two areas that are critical hires for our area and we’re always
hiring. The first of which is security guards again their response there are
the first people you see they’re the first line that you see for what we do
on the base they control access and control our fence lines entrance control
of security of the overall area. They are the unheralded workforce that
there works on a depot. Again, our biggest population. They have to be able to
have typical security guard functions. Be able to qualify on a weapon. The great
thing about our security forces we have our own internal training program so we
bring them on we can do the training for them six week program and as you see in
the upper left picture there then we have our own graduation ceremony and
indoctrinating them into the security guard force. As part of that of course you know
it requires a background check because of the area they’re working in. So, there
are some discriminating factors that you would prevent someone get a job you know
felonies, previous drug use, things like that;
however, again I don’t know USAJOBS we always have open hires going for that
position. Second one I want to talk about is our toxic material handlers. They
are the ones on day-to-day basis who are handling the munitions. So they basically
move the rounds from our igloos to the plant to allow demiling. They
also work on getting rounds to be reconfigured so they’re ready to go to
into the plant that at a later location they do all the monitoring of the area
and there they see our hidden force because they work in an area its
chemical limited area which very few people get to see the great work they do
is all the time but again they’re one of our critical hires we’re looking at. The…
to become a toxic material handler they have to be able to get a secret
clearance. They don’t have to come in with one but they have to have a
background check that allows them to get a secret clearance. I mean this is a
time-consuming process but again this is a it’s a it’s a rewarding job because
they’re the ones who get to see the rounds actually start to disappear out
of there into the plant and it’s kind of slowly see the countdown as we’re going
through. Again both these jobs are constantly being offered on the USAJOBS
website and just if you know anyone we have flyers we also have some trifolds we
could pass out that it gives greater detail on what the process is to apply for a job so if anyone’s looking for a job we… definitely let them know about this. Thank you.>>Kornelly: There any questions of Colonel? Yes, Ross.>>Vincent: Colonel, what’s the total employee population now and what’s your target?
Where are you headed?>>Col Grice: We’ve got about 380 hired right now
we’re authorized about 420 so that that population of guards and the toxic
material handlers are constantly getting better jobs on the depot, so they get into
the federal system and then will move up into other higher paying jobs on the
depot, so that that’s why there’s that constant flow of opportunity in these
two particular positions.>>Vincent: Thanks.>>Griffin: Colonel, it is because of the applications or the background checks or why the…>>Col. Grice: Well, we’re competing with a lot of other sites that pay a little bit more so up in the Springs at Peterson Air Force Base, Ft.
Carson, some of the other Air Force bases up in that area they start out as a
higher wage grade. I will say we have a bonus in place that tries to you know
mitigate that for our guards and so we’re trying to be competitive in that
environment where there’s a lot of opportunities. We do have background
checks and that is a challenge so they have to be able to get a security
clearance they have to be able to be physically fit so there are some things
that sometimes knock candidates out as we try to hire them.>>Norton: Have you had to hire or
increase your target number because of the SWMU 13 igloos that you’re
setting up?>>Col. Grice: You know fortunately no we’re working with what we’ve got right now
and the contractors out there have been very supportive of how we’re managing
that. So right now the SWMUs will be able to support, my only concern is that
you know, the plant process increases we may have some some more demand for
those jobs.>>Kornelly: Any other questions? Thank you very much gentlemen. We’ll move on to Kevin Mackey who will be talking about permitting
issues.>>Mackey: Thanks, Irene. Yeah, we’ve been pretty busy as usual
processing and evaluating modification requests. Over the last month we’ve
looked at about thirteen or we’ve approved thirteen different
permit mods majority of which are class ones and a lot of those have to do with
changes or modifications to the waste analysis plan as well as changes to the
drain munition weight station values we look at updates to the laboratory
analysis and plan as well as the waste analysis plan and some other issues with
changes and revisions to the operations plan. We’re in the process of reviewing
another 11 permit mods. Some are ready for approval just getting the
modifications ready to submit the change pages into the repositories of those
we’re looking at the secondary… the management of secondary containment
precipitation as it collects in some of the sumps and out dark containment in
some of the outside tank farms. the addition of a reactive waste D zero zero
three code to some of the waste lay down yard area waste approved waste that
those particular materials can be stored we’re in the process of changing that
modification or evaluating that modification and making some changes to
that. And largely a lot of what our time has been spent doing is looking at
changes in how batches agent batches are going to be processed
due to the vibrations that that have been that have been happening in the
piping systems of the agent processing areas which have led to some pump and
piping failures in the APB. We’re looking at changing some of the operating parameters from using a steam to heat the water to a hot water mix to heat the
agent batches up the steam has been causing I think it was you know covered
in the last CAC meeting but the addition of steam is and the cavitation of the
steam has led to a water hammer or a steam hammer and the piping and an
excess of vibration the hope is by adding hot water the steam cavitation
won’t happen and we will reduce that that vibration down to something
tolerable and put less stress on the system. So we’re evaluating a test plan
for doing that and that’s been really one of the main emphasis of our activities over the last month, so. If there any
questions?>.Kornelly: Are there questions of Kevin? We’re all going back to biology
101 I think and chemistry. No questions, we will move on to the PCAPP update. And I don’t know, Greg are you starting or?>>Holmes: No, I’m going to start.>>Kornelly: You’re gonna start, okay.>>Holmes: So, this
might be like throwing chum in the water to Terry, but…>>Hart: [chuckles] Throw it. Throw it.>>Holmes: but by my count I’ve attended more than 40 CAC meetings in this role and this is the last one because it’s been
announced and we’ll talk about it at the end that Brett’s gonna take over but I
appreciate you know before getting this I appreciate the support of the CAC I
appreciate the you know the hard questions and keeping us honest about
things I as a citizen in this community I’m pleased to have your engagement in
this process because this is how these things get done
the right way so thank you for your support and participation and then I’ll
go through the presentation so Terry you can think of the really hard questions
you want to get out because this is your last ride.>>Hart: I’ve been practicing all night.>>Holmes: That’s good. [laughter] That’s good.>>Norton: He rehearsed at the permitting meeting this afternoon.>>Holmes: Yeah, okay. He rehearsed at the permitting, thank you. So, in terms of safety same same experience as the last
time although the rate keeps going down because we’d not getting people hurt and
just a just a refresh this is half the rate we had last year it’s a third of
the events that we had last year so the work force has done a very good job in
getting engaged in their own safety the project has been engaged in supporting
things that the workforce asked for they have a they have a representative
team called the elite team and they bring up initiatives to the project for
example we just christened this week what effectively are bus stops in and
out of the Entry Control Facility so the people have a place to stand if there’s
a line if it’s bad weather outside it was something that was important to the
workforce we figured out how to put it in and put them in I think they did a
ribbon-cutting ceremony this week that balance really is what gets you these
kind of these kind of rates which is you know kind of equivalent to like a
library and then I never thought a library would be that hazardous of a
place but I guess it is but people are doing the right thing. No changes on the
on the pilot demonstration on the next chart and to the progress against the pilot
test demonstration and I’ll talk a bit about where we are and where we’re
headed and augment some of what Kevin talked about of what we’re focused on in
the in the TOCs. Next chart. I’m going to talk about where the plant has been over the last couple of months and kind of where things are headed. In
in the early part of September, we, I, it was me. I looked at the plan I saw we had
a number of things that were going on we talked last time. Walton
briefed you last time about the two compliance advisories for the carbon
shipment and then getting the thidiglycol because of carbon breakthrough in
the in the process water tank. We also had agent vapor in in TMAC which is
inside engineering controls but not something you want to have routinely and
I’ll talk a bit about isolators and then we had a lot of equipment that was
plugged both reactor trains were plugged with solids. We are finding significant
solids inside the munitions and as I said last month they’re they’re safe in
storage but we’re finding additional complexities as we start to take them
apart. That caused me to say you know let’s take a pause and so I
implemented my stop work authority which is a very formal process for agent
processing operations in the APB. At that point the Biotreatment Area had already
been in a in an outage to do some upgrades and repairs in that overall
system. I let baseline reconfiguration, the unboxing of munitions, proceeded
today because we have safety and certainty in that evolution. We process
for a couple of days the enhanced reconfiguration in the ERB to fill the
buffer in the APB and put that in a known steady state and not trap any
munitions, kind of in process outside of that buffer. We then, we then went back
and under a stop work very formal process that requires me to come up with
a plan of what we’re gonna go do to evaluate and and restart and then
quality has to validate that we did everything that I said we were going to
do in the plant so once I say stop that plan and that process has to proceed
even I can’t say yeah I didn’t really mean it and go ahead and restart the
plant. We then went back and said okay how can we validate what we need and make
sure that we’re okay and it really centered around making
sure that we had complete flow down of the environmental set of requirements in
the permit because we processed a lot of permit
modifications that we had the right safety flow down into the procedures and
that we had a clear understanding of the technical configuration of the important
systems and and again the initial focus is on the APB this will get extended a
little bit into the Biotreatment Area before we restart those evolutions. And
so I went back and said you know we we just finished a year ago the operational
readiness review and I had a pretty good set of criteria to start the plant so
why don’t we use that and go back and decide you know do we have what we
thought we had for a year ago plus any known upgrades. If we lost anything okay
let’s close a gap and let’s figure out how we make sure that we that we that we
close those gaps. So I identified about 14 of those criteria that we had that
focused on the system evaluation environmental and safety flow down and
we’ve evaluated our performance and where we are relative to those
conditions. There’s also some things to get the equipment fixed.
We’ve got reactor 2 is now unplugged and in service we’re very close probably in
the next week we’ll have reactor 1 ready to go back into service we’ve been
having the discussion that I’ll color in a little bit more with Kevin about how
we run the plant in a less impactful manner and we really needed to get our
feet I’ll call it get our feet back underneath ourselves as we want it to
restart the plan I think the conditions are set to go and do that. We also look
to make sure that we are current on corrective maintenance and everything
else we had to do the the emergency breathing apparatus backpack change out
that Greg will talk about so we worked that into this plan and so at this point
we have finished all of the evaluations and the actions that we identified to go
ahead and restart and then once we finish with with Kevin’s crew on that
test plan configuration that I think the plant will be in a condition to go ahead
and restart and be in a much better position for sustaining operations
having been through this experience. What we found was we were we were pretty good
at all of the flow downs but we didn’t have certainty about that and and the
major process revision the implementation of environmental
requirements. For example, CDPHE signs a permit mod they signed one yesterday it
comes to the plant it says it’s effective right now. Well, what does that
mean? You don’t implement a permit mod if it’s got set point changes and those
kind of things instantaneously you have to make a decision to you stop and
implement those changes or do you say okay we’re gonna implement a reasonable
day or two to implement those changes what do we do in the interim well that
procedure helps close that uncertainty in that process and I think then we’ll
be able to say okay permit mod pick a number is effective today and
implemented today so the effective date and the implementation date are not
always the same because it just can’t be. And for things that are bigger like the
change in the in the brine concentrator feed tanks where we change the method of
aeration there’s a much greater there’s a much greater time lag in
implementation those are making sure that we have a sound process that says
this tank is under this configuration for this waste and it’s permitted for
that because of the flow down we work real tight and certain in that process
and as we come out of this we’ll have a much better and more certain process for
implementation of permit mods when they come out we’ve had a substantially
higher number that I think anybody had envisioned even with the pilot nature of
the plant and I think also this pause allowed that process to kind of get a
little bit caught up. So, right now the plan is to is forecasting that we’ll
start the plant probably sometime next week and that’s subject to the dialog
we’re having with Kevin and his team about the restart there’ll be certain
things that we start ahead for example we want to empty the the agent water
separator tank so that’ll go first that’ll then allow us to start
processing munitions through the munition washout system and part of this
permit mod that Kevin talked about includes the no rotation of munitions
while we do the rinche that includes the steady state inflation of the cup which
we can do more reliably that will reduce the maintenance workload
in that room which then allows maintenance to be focused in other areas
of the plant. And so a a good process sometimes plants like this go through
this. I think we’ve been pretty controlled and how we went through, Greg’s team has been in the room as we as we’ve gone through this whole thing and
I think you know again we’ll be ready to close out probably into sometime next
week for restarting processing inside of the APB and that will be very much
staged and we’ll start slow because our crews haven’t operated for a couple of
months and then do a steady-state ramp through the rest of this calendar year. So Kevin talked about the reactor
downtime and and we pay attention to what’s happening in the plan and and and
let’s go back in in history a little bit we installed isolators around the pumps
in the talks to protect the pumps we did that late in the systemization phase and
part of it’s because the the boiler is so far away from the APB our engineers
we’ve got engineers out from from corporate helping us you know really
look at there’s a that steam comes down to a one-inch line it’s pretty high
steam flow has probably got some condensation in it and condensation in
the steam line is makes for noise and hammer and vibration and we’ve seen
mechanical effects on the braking of pipe supports which causes the pipe to
rack at the isolator and other failures and and we put the isolators in because
that would then become the known failure point to protect the pumps and the pipe
and and we have to pay attention that those isolators also serve an important
function which is primary containment of the liquid in that line so the challenge
we had is I’ll say they weren’t failing predictably and so that’s unacceptable
to run till they just break we got to figure out can can you put in place a
process to change them out on a frequency because they might wear
on a you know on a predictable basis so you replace it before they fail and we
weren’t seeing that and we’re seeing different effects. Isolators fail for I’m
going to say three main purposes one is mechanical they get racked and they’re
they’re they’re flanges on each end and those flanges can get pretty complicated
and so bolts can vibrate loose the isolator gets rack the pipe the pipe
moves and now that’s a mechanical failure. The second failure is chemical
you have the wrong relationship between the material and the pipe and
the components that make up the isolator we’re not sure we’ve had any of that we
thought we may have and made a change which leads to the third failure which
is just mechanical abrasion of the isolator. There are types of isolators
that are not tolerant to mechanical wear and when we saw after we made a change
we then saw this rapid increase for some reason and the extent the solids in that
system and they were sand blasted effectively away and there was a picture
of those in the charts that we had last month of that mechanical abrasion. We’re
also seeing blockages in the piping system due to solids. We’ve analyzed that
solid material, most of it’s rust. And so the theory is that as we’ve talked about
pressurized rounds and and potential that there’s water contamination in the
rounds that hydrolysis has occurred over many many decades the metal inside the
munition body is available for reacting with the acid that would be formed –
it’s the same reaction, it’s just occurring over a longer period of time,
so it’s the same reaction that we run and that causes rust inside of the
munition body. We’ve analyzed some that we pulled it was it was vast majority of in
the upper 80% was rust and the balance was dithiane and oxathiane which are
produced during the reaction we know they’re produced. And so we’re gonna have
to think about long term solids management. We we we think for the most
part we can get it through the reactors and into the 30 day hold tanks and we
can protect the Immobilized Cell Bioreactors by lifting the nozzle in those
tanks as we as we draw from it and go and clean them out on a periodic
basis therefore that’s not agent this hazardous because it’s derived from
waste but it’s not hazardous and there’s companies we already have a company on
contract that can do that work to do that clean-out and because one of the
reasons we stopped in the BTA is we had solids that we’re building up and if you
put rust on the on the on the media that’s inside the ICBs, the biomass
doesn’t like that and it won’t attach to it. So for the long term let’s talk about
near-term near-term as Kevin said we’re looking at can we run the TOX in a
fashion without steam we believe we can and and complete the commitment of how
we process and have stuff that’s bio treatable on the back end that would
reduce the substantial mechanical impact in that room but that’s rooms going to
operate for a long time and so we we started this past week a team looking at
the long term of how do we make everything in the TOX last for for
you know the duration that we know anticipate operations will be which is a
little bit longer than we had forecast looking at accessibility and maintenance
and operational strategies and preventive maintenance strategies if
necessary what data do we need to collect those kind of things and I
anticipate that that team will we’ll spend a little bit of time several weeks
now identifying you know the details of what happened and and where do we go
from here have the project collect certain data then they’ll come back and
tell Brett and the team what to do for the long term in the TOX to keep it to
keep it running if we if we don’t then we run the risk of breaking pipe and
broken titanium pipe would be really really bad because you’d be talking
about decon in that room all the way down so you can get in there without DPE
which you can’t today you know by the way you have to have a way to deal with
that material while you’re you know deconning and so that team is really
looking at the long-term sustainability in the in the TOX. And these are you know these charts are
things that we use recently with Dr. Hopkins. He was out visiting and and and
wanted to walk through a number of things on what’s happening in the plant
so you’re seeing kind of the the same stuff that that he did. A number of
things that we’ve been working on to address overall downtime in the plant
the high-pressure wash water that’s at the munition washout system that water’s
abrasive and we you know we found a need that we needed to harden those nozzles
to let them last longer and so we did that we’ve made a number of changes
inside of the cavity access machines the splash guards a a long-term modification
to the high-pressure wash water pumps so they can sustain the high-pressure over
time which includes the vendor coming out and telling us a here are
operational strategies and be every so many thousand hours you know take one
and send it back for rebuild they’re not in contaminated spaces so that’s a
that’s easy enough to do and then we have an extra one that we can then bring
into play and just keep cycling them cycling cycling them through. We are
looking at as part of this mod with with Kevin and his team getting the approvals
to remove, it’s not really remove the inflatable seal it’s to have the seal
but instead of blowing up the it’s a it’s a bladder it’s an air bladder
that’s underneath the munition that lifts it up is instead of having that
blown up and in a solenoid valve closing and hoping that the balloon stays full
is just keep steady air flow through it and that keeps it inflated enough and
and and move out without having less with a lot less repair. Rotation of
the munition will go along with that and some other miscellaneous changes in
terms of really making sure that we can sustain operations in the plant. This
focuses on the on the MWS room the long-term is to have a cross tie
conveyor between one line of the MWS and then the other line of the MTU because
right now they’re one for one and so if an MTU is down
that whole line is down and if if you’ve got the other MWS down at the
same time than the our room is down so we’re looking at
simple things that could be put in place in order to allow increase flexibility
to sustain processing when when things break. I talked about in the in the
stop-work people think on a next chart that there’s yeah you’re stopped work
nobody’s doing anything everybody’s like Rick drinking coffee all day and that’s
not necessarily true. We’ve done a number of root cause
evaluations in terms of what what happened and those will feed into the
dialogue that we have with Kevin and his team on the compliance advisories for
those. We’re nearly finished with the Biotreatment Area outage activities. We’ve
got some of those modifications in the facility construction certification
process. Baseline reconfiguration continued. And then you can see a whole
list of things that we’re done in the plant that are working to improve
sustainment in inside of the inside of the facility. Some of these are
modifications and some are not but a lot of work has been gone on over the last
couple months that really put the project in a much better position for
sustaining activities which allow us to finish up the pilot test and then keep
going on with the 155 production.>>Norton: Is it rounds or something else your X-raying?>>Holmes: One thing we’re looking at is can you predict the leaker and it may be
possible and so we we took ACWA Test Equipment munitions and and they make
drum X-ray machines that you can get their trailer mounted and our thinking
is and and we’re still in the early study days of these but can can we X-ray
certain rounds of munitions and identify that there’s a degradation in the
burster well and ogive interface as that metal the metal seal on the end of the
munition in order to identify that that is potentially more susceptible to leak
than others. We we know of certain munition lots that have leaked in
past and baseline sites. So we have that family. We’re talking about roughly
30,000 total munitions, forgetting the 4.2 which mortars for a minute. So the
105s and the 155s – that population’s about 30,000. We wouldn’t X-ray them all
necessarily but you try to identify which ones are more susceptible or more
likely to leak just because of the significant impact on the Enhanced
Reconfiguration Building activities when we’ve had a liquid leaker.
We’ve also slowed down processing in the ECRs and and changed the monitoring
strategy so that we can maybe speed back up a little bit so that if we have a
liquid leaker, we keep it in that room and not get it into the next room. So
X-ray of munitions is an idea to reduce the
impact on the plant and it’s it’s we a proof of concept, we don’t have a
full-blown strategy yet. I needed to leave something for Brett to
do. I don’t think there’s a dramatic change on the quantities of waste
shipment totals that have that have happened we’re holding some carbon to
make sure that we have 59 super sacks of carbon that’s ready to ship. We wanted
the team to finish the root cause recommendations, implement those
recommendations and even if we think we have everything right for that carbon is
use it to prototype the revisions to the process and I think that’d be a good way
to make sure that those are implemented and most most readily and I think that
would help with the discussions we’re having with Kevin and his team so we’ve
got some carbon ready to ship that we’re holding on for that process and then the
rest I don’t think has has changed all that much. [indistinct chatter]>>Holmes: Oh those are the those are the metal
bodies after they’re all done done. They’ve been off for for shredding. Bill
Clark trucking, a local trucking company has got the contract and they take them
to a they take them to a shredder up in Denver and because these munition bodies
are really hard they mix them with cars and some of that material I’m I
understand has come back into Evraz after they could separate out the copper
has come back into Evraz and turned into railroad track. [indistinct chatter]>>Holmes: No, that would be against. I think that’d be against something that you would not want to happen.>>Mohrman: Is that a trick question, Ross?>>Holmes: That was a trick question. Okay, I’m done. I’m out.>>Norton: Didn’t you say before that you needed to find a second recipient for the metal that it was whoever was doing it…>>Holmes: We thought we
had one we’ve been looking for one down in Albuquerque and it it’s not going to
work out. So right now we’re still tied to the the shredder that’s in in Denver
and their capacity limited but we’ll figure out what they can do they’re also
cutting the munition first before they before they shred it. There’s some Army
requirements that have that things have to occur to take it out of
accountability that they’re that they’re doing.>>Hart: Rick just out of curiosity on I
got in a little bit late to the Permitting Working Group meeting
this yeah this afternoon and so I was just trying to catch up when I got there
but this rust that’s appearing is is that pretty consistent throughout the
munitions or is it like more exclusive to certain lots or what are you finding
on that or can you tell yet?>>Holmes: We… to tell and and I think you know because we we know they’re solids because they were precipitating out in the 30-day
storage tanks. This plugging of the reactors was a new phenomenon and so
we’re looking at you know ways to back flush and that kind of thing. Really no
way to know because it’s a function of how much metal is on the inside so
mortars are to be worse because they have a baffle
on the inside so there’s much more metal inside of a mortar but the agent there
there is an agent lot and a munition lot component that’s tracked and so it’s
really a function of and the theory goes like this if there’s a little bit of
water that got into the agent when it was made and the munition was filled
then our process had started back at the time it was filled just running for a
really long time under no agitation and no temperature swings and so then that
forms acid so it’s really a function of the agent lot itself and the munition
itself and how much metal is available mortars are going to be worse and that’s
that’s really the two component so it’s too early to tell how much but there’s
enough of it to be impactful.>>Hart: Interesting, so it’s basically the the level of quality when the munition was first, well when the agent was being made back in
the 40s, 50s, 60s, whenever that…>>Holmes: It is part of it. I mean and weaponized
munitions are harder. I mean the Russians are done because they didn’t weaponize
any munitions and early on we were talking with the Russians about treaty I
remember back a long long time ago you know they they would thought we were
silly for weaponizing munitions and you know and they they they didn’t do that
so that’s why they’re done and we’re we’re looking at… The baseline program
stop draining mustard munitions a long long time ago. We do not have that luxury.>>Hart: That’s interesting and you know, appreciate the fact that you had local
truckers but it’s almost like you’re here you’re a senior and you got your
diploma and you’re doing a little extra credit you don’t need to at this point. [laughter] Go ahead and turn to Bret on those kind of issues and kind of hammer him but I
definitely appreciate the going-away gift but and then the other thing you
know for you know you’re leaving… Part of the reason why, many reasons why I’m
disappointed, I just thoroughly loved working with you and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed our time together and and when you told me
earlier in the year that you’re getting a promotion I said no wait a minute you
know that that normally means that you’re getting ready to move on that’s
what we’ve seen around here and I swear Rick you you promised me that that
wasn’t gonna happen. [chuckles]>>Holmes: That promotion happened in 2014.>>Hart: Ahh.>>Holmes: So, time has passed. [laughter]>>Hart: Well ,thank you I’m sure that we’re gonna have a little time to talk to you
afterwards but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working with you I’m sure
thoroughly enjoyed beating you up in these public meetings that’s I don’t
know what I’m gonna do but I’ll think I’ll shift it to Bret, yeah. [chuckles]>>Holmes: You won’t have to adjust your target ’cause he’ll sit in the same chair.>>Hart: There you go yeah that
works for me. [chuckles]>.Mohrman: All right, so Rick has spent a good amount of time walking you
through where the plants at because before I talk about numbers on this
slide that Jeannine’s got up is the numbers haven’t changed as you can see
for the 155s. So you just got a really good detailed lay down of the
same type of things that we shared with Dr. Hopkins as Rick said. This is what’s
going on at our plant. You guys like to know the details what’s happening what
are you doing about it and of course there’s always that when you’re going to
start. So I’m going to talk about starting again and I’m gonna reiterate
something Rick said here and that is don’t expect us to go from zero to 60 as
soon as we restart the plant because the idea is not get to start the idea is
start start well and sustain those operations it’ll be a steady ramp up for
all the reasons that he just mentioned. People need to come back up to speed,
it’s not like, I have seen him drink coffee by the way during this process, a
little bit, but we need to bring our people back up to speed our equipment
back up to speed and it’s not like all those things have been sitting idle too
and as I’ll talk about a baseline reconfiguration the plant has been very
active. The other thing too, Terry what you might want to do is ask him about
his experience today we had a major test exercise today and
it was very successful great great partnership with PCD it was
on our footprint Rick played a prominent role in that and I’ll just tell you
right now he felt the love all right. So you might want to ask him about that. All
right. So numbers here for the main plant that
number is unchanged from last month and there’s a reason for it
Rick just expounded upon those we need to make sure that we come up with
solutions and role and and solutions that will sustain this plant operation
as we move forward. We have learned a lot in the last year of operation the solids
piece that Rick just mentioned other pieces that we’ve run into with regard
to munitions and equipment how to maintain high pressure wash water pumps
all those types of things are going to be very valuable to us as we move into
the future. Next slide, please. The only thing that may have changed on
this is I think we’re up that we are up to 26 on on the 105s. Did it come up,
Jeanine? There you go. Up to 26 I think we’re at 25 last month and then you can
go to the next slide to if you would, Jeannine. Now this here’s where we made
significant progress on baseline reconfiguration of the 105 rounds and we
are as a today we’re actually at 66% and what the plant has ramped up to we’re
pretty consistently doing 150 rounds a day and the baseline reconfiguration. So
plant’s not been idle. People have not been idle, and we’ve made significant
progress, so it is really good to see those numbers that remaining amount
continues to go down on a daily basis and that percent complete getting us
ready for the 105 operations. So let’s go the next slide. Now I think was back in
August, if I remember right, Irene, is when we had
a conference call, Ms. Milchling did a conference call with representatives
from the CAC, regulatory communities, and part of that was an introduction of our
new PEO, Suzanne Milchling, and what she said was I’ve been with the program 30,
60 days and it’s now time I see we need to put a challenge out there to say what
do we need to do to get to done. What is it that you
see at the sites that we need to do? And she put that challenge out there to find
solutions across ACWA and no-holds-barred as she told you on that
particular call. Part of the challenge there is to is Dr. Hopkins has said hey
we have this treaty date of December 2023 – what’s it going to take to get
there? So she put that challenge out. As of yesterday I believe there were about
400 different suggestions that have come in ranked full-range full gamut
everything from some administrative things let’s change our processes
internally for how we rate ACWA employees performance evaluations to
really substantive things about what can we do in the plant and where we need to
be looking at in the future again for sustainability, always in mind that we’re
still safety and environmental compliance are in violet so you don’t
mess with those that was all part of the challenge.>>Kornelly: Greg, is that December 2023 for
both facilities or just for our facility?>>Mohrman: That is the treaty limit for
both.>>Kornelly: Okay, for both, that is what I wanted to confirm.>>Mohrman: That’s a public law, yes, ma’am. So I’m gonna give you just a quick
update and Suzanne will be well giving me giving more information as we go
along but we’ve been collecting reviewing those things she has a
dedicated person at ACWA headquarters that is starting to bucket these things
is that that’s a real technical term is two bucket them into how they fit
everything from administrative to PCAPP to Blue Grass and things that are common
across both plants and the entire program. So we were collecting reviewing
those options as I said just across all of ACWA and that includes that
incremental improvements in processes such as near real-time monitoring and
ECRs. Rick talked about liquid leakers and quite honestly the liquid leakers
that we experienced kicked our butt it really does. That ECR that was
contaminated is still not up and operational we’re still doing recovery
there and the thing with it one of the incremental improvements here about
real-time monitoring in an ECR is that if we have
a leaker it doesn’t that contamination doesn’t migrate to the next room the
munitions monitoring area which is where we have the PMEs and MMEs
which we are also still trying to recover those two modules. So that’s an
example of an incremental improvement. Those things are already in
process. We don’t have to wait til November or December and bring these all
in it’s it’s if we see that and we start moving out on those those are things
that we know we need to do now and we’re starting to move out on that. Also
evaluating approaches for sustaining operations. Rick also mentioned the
elimination of steam in the neutralization reactors. That may or may not be the
solution to all vibration don’t know but we’re also working on how do we collect
the data and the information that will support that as well as make sure we
know the chemistry works we know what temperature’s the chemistry works but
what else can we do to sustain that because also as Rick also said this
plant has to last for a few years yet can get through several hundred thousand
rounds before we’re done. So sustainability is a major piece with
regard to future operations. Reducing downtime due to leaker operations with
enhanced decon capability we don’t have all the decon capability that baseline
facilities did because quite honestly they cause interference and monitoring
and so we have to be we have to treat some of this decon more delicately steam
is a good example of some things that we can use but ideally and realistically we
need to have better recovery from leakers even with some of the things
Rick was talking about and trying to prevent leakers coming into the plant we
will still have that I mean that’s part of our future we have got to be able to
recover better and we’re putting ideas on the table and into play for how to do
that. And then the last one, because of the fact that we’ve run into problematic
rounds and is looking at supplemental treatment for those rounds to prevent
additional impact to the plant. The question that was asked about the X-ray
assessment that would be part of that ideally could we prevent leakers from
coming into the plant segregate those that are the highest risk and put them
into supplemental process? Yes. But what
supplemental process do we have EDS is one. We’re also looking at all options that we might have there because keep in mind and Suzanne
mentioned this on her call this is kind of no-holds-barred
piece so we’re going to be discussing a lot of different things as we go forward
and what are we going to need to do to to treat those problematic rounds safely
and compliantly as we move forward. So we’ll continue to move on the on the
options summarize those our intent is that we’ll continue to the dialogue with
you as Rick also mentioned I think you read my notes but we’ll continue to
dialogue and where we’re going on what we’re thinking and why and what are the
changes we need to make to the plant get it retrofit in areas to make us a
sustainable operation in the future and get the stockpile destroyed. Next slide,
please. Okay new escape breathing apparatus, EBA,
so you guys have seen self-contained breathing apparatus before what’s so
special about this. This one is pretty special because without this the plant
wouldn’t operate. I’ve talked about entries, we briefed before the number of
entries per day, people going into the TOX, into contaminated areas. Well the
the units that we inherited from the baseline facilities quite honestly there
NIOSH certification expires in, starting in January of 2018. So without escape breathing apparatus to put put our employees in to go in and
work on maintenance in the plant the plant would not operate so that new
escape breathing apparatus or EBA as it’s called is really important. I went
to the first ever just this week they called it a sticker application ceremony
and I’d never been to one before it was pretty cool because the the the last
piece that we needed to implement this new EBA was a NIOSH certification which
we just received in fact the stickers were printed
we had the backpacks here before the stickers were actually applied and so
just this Tuesday there was a sticker application
and it was one, two, three, go and those NIOSH stickers are on there full
certification of those backpacks and and they are in the plant being used
all shifts have been trained and they are great enhancement to ergonomics and
for the users they love them got better heads-up displays we got 30 minutes of
escape breathing air as opposed to ten that we had with old Mine Safety
Appliance units and this whole process quite honestly has been a great teaming
and partnering effort between the government the SC and Dave Wheatley
Enterprises, who is the actual builder of these backpacks. So PCAPP played an
important role for all of ACWA in that our training facility has been used
since day one for doing human factors testing and in
bringing these units out, getting them tuned up, and getting them to the point
where they could do their final engineering on them, do the NIOSH
certification, and now put them into practice and so Blue Grass will benefit
greatly from the processes that have been worked here. Great model for how
partnering took place from the very start and and acceptance PCAPP
wanting to take the lead role and do that so the other part Rick just briefly
mentioned this as part of this outage that we’ve had we were able to convert
the whole plant by the way it’s not just oh by the way here’s your new backpack
you can go use this there’s an extensive amount of training that takes place with
a new backpack for the users every hose in the plant that connects to the
backpack had to be changed out every DPE suit had to be changed out because the
entire system backpack DPE hoses is all part of the NIOSH
certification and so the logistics behind this and pulling this off and
pulling it forward into the outage that we’re already in was really a great
effort and this project came in ahead of schedule. Next slide, please. Nice picture of a four-person entry.
Those are difficult to do but as we’ve moved forward gain more confidence,
here’s where the EBAs come into play by the way and those DPE suits and so
we’re learning to to increase the number of operations or entries as we call them
into the plant as we move forward that also enhances our operations but
those are also because of the logistics the medical monitoring and everything
else that takes place that is no small feat do the people suited up and then
what you don’t see behind the scenes is like I said medical monitoring and all
these support people and the emergency backup in case one of those individuals
would have a problem as they’re doing the entry. Next slide please, Jeannine. Okay transition
to the new project manager. All right, so this is Rick’s last CAC and I’ll talk
about Bret here in just a moment a couple things Terry I share your
sentiment yeah this is I’ve only been here for two and a half years. Rick’s been here for five, so you’ve worked with him that long but I’ve truly enjoyed
work with you Rick for last couple of years I mean the energy you guys have
seen this you’ve seen the energy you’ve seen the level of detail that he briefs
to and talks to and that’s not just prepping for tonight that’s in meetings
that were in day in and day out. Energy, the innovation, drive, the experience, all
were instrumental in getting PCAPP where it is today and getting started.
That as you as you know as we briefed day and month after month that steep
climb to get PCAPP into operations was huge and Rick was a primary
driver of that so I’ve enjoyed his sitting side by side with him but these
CAC meetings, I didn’t done 40, all right, so you got me beat on that one and probably
always will but I’ve also learned a lot from you Rick so I appreciate your time
yeah. [indistinct chatter]>>Holmes: I do but it’s not publicly announce-able yet so initially I’ll go back in a business trip. I am
selling my house, so I voted in my last election, Terry, sorry. [indistinct chatter] Somewhere I guess. If they need an endorsement I [indistinct]>>Griffin: Rick, I would just like to add it’s very very nice during your
leadership I think you did a great job for our safety goes. Really appreciate your
safety management. The time that I’ve been on the council [indistinct] Good luck on your new assignment and appreciate working with you very much.>>Mohrman: So, that brings us to Bret Griebenow, the apprentice. I didn’t tell him I was gonna say that. And so Bret has been here since 2013,
right? Also ahead of my arrival here so that looks like to be a very smooth
transition it will be a very smooth transition. Bret is highly competent and look forward to working with him as well and the
great thing about this particular transition is that there’s been the
day-to-day the relationships have already been built
we know each other across the staffs staff knows each other too so this will
be a very good seamless handle handoff do you want anything, Bret? Okay. Okay last slide please, Jeannine. And
if you probably haven’t been out to the PSB as of late but we’ve got a flagpole
out there that the commander is giving us permission to have intend to fly the
stars and stripes out there what’s significant about this pictures we’re
now have it that flag flies 24/7 you can’t see the lighting system you can
see the solar panel that’s there but it’s a it’s a great piece and it’s a
great reminder as to who we are what the mission is and the importance of that
mission each and every time we enter that building. That’s it.>>Kornelly: Are there questions that you want to ask of anyone I have some questions but I’ll
let everybody else… there’s no other questions? It’s hard to believe. In
reviewing the the minutes from last month’s meeting and sometimes I admit
that sometimes you have to look at these minutes for a while or look at what
happened and before you can think of the questions that you want to ask but the
first question that came to mind that where there are similar problems with
them the neutralization of the mustard at Aberdeen because that’s the only
other place in the United States that we’ve neutralized mustard?>>Holmes: There were some but not to this degree two main reasons. One, the the Aberdeen agent was manufactured in Edgewood, our agent is Rocky Mountain. Not sure what that means.>>Kornelly: We’ve had our own problems with Rocky Mountain Arsenal, so.>>Holmes: But the primary difference is bulk agent
versus weaponized agent. You think about the agent volume to surface area
of metal that’s available it’s not as large in a ton container. We had the
luxury in Aberdeen that we could essentially decant the liquid and run
through that first part of the process and then the ton container clean-out line
was done of a separate in a separate evolution. They did see some solids but
not nearly to the degree that the weaponized program is experienced, has
experienced and is experiencing.>>Kornelly: Okay. As you’ve run through and you’re
continuing to go through your different units to look at what what needs to be
improved what could go better how to be more sustainable,
is this gonna require in the future or very near future, I guess, the changes in
permitting and changes in training for the people that are working out there?>>Holmes: Most certainly, yes. I mean we’re some of the things were contemplating
essentially elimination of steam for example that’s a permit mod. That’s
a permit at a pilot test demonstration plan that we’re in discussions and I
think we’re pretty close on landing on what that’s going to look like with
Kevin and his team so permitting most certainly and and and I think the hope
is that you know you can capture a lot of that in the pilot test plan and then
make the transition to what your final status is in the RCRA Part B which I
think Kevin the last period talked through that that process. As we identify
those changes you know every time we make a change to a standard operating
procedure, then every shift that comes back goes through that change in
effectively is trained on those kind of changes even the most you know you a
change in a set point or something else in this in this process they they get
awareness of so absolutely yes to both of those.>>Kornelly: Okay. Lastly Rick I want to thank
you for all the we’ve known each other for a very long time of many years of
different forms of demil and I want to thank you for your your devotion to this
program and to Pueblo itself, but I figured out that there’s some of us on
this commission that have been attended more than 200 CAC meetings. [chuckles] Now I’m not
sure if that’s good or better we should be told that we’re absolutely crazy and belong at you know a different place than at these meetings but just think about that and then you know when you have when
you’re going to wherever your new assignment is just remember how nice we
were to you. [laughter]>>Holmes: I’ll take that I’ll take with me.>>Norton: I hope there are places to plug in your car, wherever you’re going. [laughter]>>Kornelly: Any other questions?>>Hart: No, I think I’ve kind of said my swan
song to Rick honestly it’s been great and you know I sure what Greg says I’ve
learned so much for you I’ve always learned in my career that there’s at
least a couple of level folks who are in charge of these kind of programs folks
who understand the program but sometimes have difficulty explaining it
the folks who understand it thoroughly have no problem explaining it and Rick
you’ve been awesome whenever we’ve had questions you’ve helped us walk through
it too you know dumbed it down to a level that I could understand and that’s
been greatly appreciated and and frankly when there’s been challenges you stood
there and explain to us exactly what was going on so that we knew how to how to
deal with it and that kind of honesty and transparency is greatly appreciated.
It has set the bar and Bret’s been here through all that and he’s also been
practicing in that so I know it’s gonna be a smooth transition but we’re gonna
miss you, brother. Thank you for everything.>>Kornelly: Any other comments or questions? If not we’ll move on briefly to most of the things that happened at the
Permitting Working Group meeting has already been discussed by Kevin and we’re our
next Permitting Work Group meeting will be in December 13th at two o’clock in
County or the district attorney’s conference room. You have anything you
want to talk about?>>Norton: Yeah, most of most of the Biotreament changes, repairs, and
things I think we’re addressed in your report too and we we were told this
afternoon that you may be bringing the bugs back sometime in December ish which
I think could be German for January.>>Holmes: I need to make some hydrolysate first. Maybe about you know they’ll be about thirty days after we really get
back into rinsing out munitions.>>Norton: Well, Pueblo is doing its part to producing them for you.>>Kornelly: Are there any other questions and Bret welcome aboard I know you’ve been
here for a while but now you get to be in the hot seat and we’ll ask you all
the questions. Great. Our next meeting if we do not have a meeting in November
because it would generally fall on the day before Thanksgiving and most people
do not really care to be at the meetings at that particular time so I would like
to wish all of you first of all a safe Halloween. Don’t let too many of the
ghosts and goblins get to you and a Happy Thanksgiving and we’ll see you all
on December 13th right here at six o’clock.

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