The Obama Administration’s proposed fiscal 2012 budget calls for spending more than $1.6 billion to continue activities associated with the elimination of the U.S.’s chemical weapons stockpile. The Department of Defense is requesting $1.2 billion for the Army’s efforts to dispose of chemical warfare materials stored at installations in several states. An additional $477 million, which includes $75 million in construction funding and $402 million for R&D, would be used for new facilities at the Blue Grass Army Depot in Richmond, Ky., and the Pueblo Chemical Depot in Colorado. “We all welcome the fact that the funds needed are being asked for, but we are still concerned with how Congress will respond,” says Craig Williams, head of the Chemical Weapons Working Group, a nongovernmental watchdog organization. “With the deficit being front and center in all budgetary issues, Congress may try to scale this project back,” he remarks, referring to the unfinished chemical neutralization plants in Kentucky and Colorado. Construction of the Pueblo facility is approximately 75% complete, and the Blue Grass plant is nearly 35% finished, according to Williams’ group.