Beginning in the early 1970s, DPG was drawn into a fight for its existence. Continually targeted for closure, the Senators in Utah became involved in DPG’s potential closure and created an interagency task force to study alternative uses for the installation. Concurrently the Army had determined that, "in an economic sense" DPG could not be reproduced elsewhere in the US. As such, DPG must remain a chemical/biological testing facility.

Through the 1970s and 1980s, as the recruiting problem continued at DPG and the base's future looked rough, many of the base's missions were taken over by private contractors. Interest in biological and chemical weapons testing was rekindled during the 1980s with use of chemical weapons in Iran and Iraq, an anthrax incident at Sverdlosk and an unknown biological event which affected the Hmong tribe.

In the mid-1980s, the Army began to implement its new Chemical Action Plan that sought to revitalize the Chemical Research and Development Center (CRDC) at Edgewood.
Exhaust equipment at Dugway’s old Baker Laboratory