OPCW Executive Council Discusses Nearly 98% Destruction of US Chemical Weapons

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Members of the Executive Council of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) attended a meeting in The Hague last week to assess the progress of chemical weapons destruction efforts in the United States as they are nearing completion.

For demilitarization transparency purposes, the meeting was hosted virtually by the United States itself, although it was held at the OPCW headquarters in The Hague. US efforts are currently focused on the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant (BGCAPP) in Richmond, Kentucky, with 97.65% of all Category 1 chemical weapons possessed by the United States believed to be destroyed at this point. All Category 2 and 3 chemical weapons have already been eliminated.

There are only two declared stockpiles of chemical weapons left in the world, in the United States. The destruction and verification of these stockpiles is ongoing there, under the supervision of the OPCW. The OPCW, created in 1997, is made up of 193 member states with the sole mission of permanently eliminating chemical weapons.

During this event, US officials summarized their chemical weapons destruction efforts and detailed progress at the BGCAPP, where the focus was on nerve agent-filled munitions. Attendees heard and discussed the measures taken to accelerate destruction and the technologies used for destruction, as well as the approaches taken to ensure the health and safety of workers, the environment and surrounding communities.