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Richmond, KY
6:10 pm, June 17, 2024
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A munitions handler places a 155mm projectile containing mustard agent into a box to begin the destruction process in the Static Detonation Chamber at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant. (A portion of this photograph has been blurred in accordance with Department of Defense guidelines.)

After three decades, chemical emergency preparedness drills to end with final alert on Wednesday

The Bluegrass Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program, also known as CSEPP will be conducting their final exercise, set to take place this Wednesday June 12th.

The comprehensive drill will involve eight area counties, Blue Grass Army Depot, Blue Grass Chemical Activity, and the Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant. This exercise not only represents a pivotal moment in the community’s continuous efforts to ensure public safety and emergency readiness, but also the program’s final exercise after more than three decades of CSEPP.

For over 30 years, CSEPP has been instrumental in preparing the Bluegrass region for potential chemical emergencies, providing training, resources, and support to local first responders and community members. The upcoming exercise, marking the final drill of its kind in Kentucky, is a testament to the successful implementation of safety protocols and emergency procedures over the years.

“This is our final CSEPP exercise. We are more prepared as a community because CSEPP and Madison County has benefited tremendously because of years of training and practice. We are grateful that our residents participate and prepare for disasters of all types because this prepares us should a disaster happen in our community,” said Madison County Judge/Executive, Reagan Taylor.

Residents in the vicinity may notice an increased presence of first responders and emergency personnel during the exercise. Additionally, on Tuesday evening, the public may see exercise activities, including message board signage in Madison and Estill Counties, and on Wednesday morning, Traffic Control Points in Estill County. Community members are encouraged to observe these activities as a sign of the area’s strong commitment to safety and preparedness.

“BGCA is proud of our partnerships with the CSEPP community,” said Lt. Col. Tyler McKee, BGCA commander. “The collaboration between the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Army, Kentucky Emergency Management and the 10 CSEPP counties has had an immense impact on preparedness and has ensured the safety of the community surrounding the chemical weapons stockpile. Now that the stockpile is destroyed, this final exercise is a bittersweet moment as CSEPP continues to move toward closeout.” 

The CSEPP’s final exercise is not merely a drill; it is a powerful reminder of the strides the community and government agencies made in safeguarding the public against potential chemical threats. CSEPP’s legacy will continue to influence regional emergency preparedness practices, ensuring that future generations remain vigilant and ready to respond to any disaster.

For media inquiries regarding the final CSEPP exercise, please contact the Public Information Officer at 859-625-4796.

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