Madison County

Obama's budget includes funding for chemical weapons disposal

President Obama's budget request to Congress for fiscal year 2012 includes an adequate level of funding to maintain an accelerated pace of construction to dispose of the chemical weapons in Madison County and Pueblo, Colo., a watchdog organization said Tuesday.

A total of $477.1 million is requested for the fiscal year, which includes $75.3 million in construction funding and $401.8 million in research, development and funding for tests and evaluations. The request contains enough funding to continue supporting the Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program in Kentucky and Colorado.

"We all welcome the fact that the funds needed are being asked for, but we still are concerned with how Congress will respond," said Craig Williams, director of the Chemical Weapons Working Group. "With the deficit being front and center in all budgetary issues, they may try to scale this project back. We certainly hope that doesn't happen, as we've witnessed great progress over the past two years."

Construction of the pilot plant to destroy chemical weapons in Madison County is 35 percent complete. The Colorado project is 75 percent complete.