Government changes access policy to Blue Grass Army Depot - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Government changes access policy to Blue Grass Army Depot

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The main gate to Blue Grass Army Depot. The main gate to Blue Grass Army Depot.

RICHMOND, KY (WAVE) - A Kentucky Army facility housing deadly chemical weapons is now off limits to the media and the public. That word comes from the Secretary of Defense days after the WAVE 3 Troubleshooter requested access to it.

This is a change from past practice. For years, Blue Grass Army Depot in Richmond gave media tours to its chemical destruction plant. WAVE 3 News asked for one last week as part of our special report. Monday, a spokesperson told me media tours to the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction plant, about 100 miles from Louisville, and a similar facility in Colorado have been temporarily suspended.

The reason given by the military is it doesn't want to draw links between what's happening here and in Syria.

Over the weekend the U.S. and Russia reached a deal with Syria to hand over its chemical weapons by the middle of next year. But the process to eradicate the chemical weapons program in the U.S. has taken decades.

Since the 1990s, the U.S. Government successfully destroyed chemical weapon stockpiles at seven of its military sites. However, there are still 523 tons of chemical agents at Blue Grass Army Depot. It is the only place where the U.S. military still keeps Sarin and VX, the most lethal toxic agents.

Again, the military says it doesn't want to encourage time comparisons between Syria and the U.S. In fact, watchdog groups in Kentucky complain that delays have left the chemical weapons in Kentucky far longer than necessary.

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