Army has until Monday to comply with Camp Minden cleanup order

Army has until Monday to comply with Camp Minden cleanup order
(Source: Louisiana State Police)
(Source: Louisiana State Police)

CAMP MINDEN, LA (KSLA) - The U.S. Army has until Monday, July 28 to notify the Environmental Protection Agency of its intent to comply with an order to take responsibility for the cleanup of the the 15 million pounds of M6 propellant it shipped to Explo Systems at Camp Minden.

"It's our understanding that the Department of Army is waiting on instructions from the Department of Justice, the EPA and the DOJ, they're all within a stone's throw of each other in DC, get this done," said State Representative Jeff Thompson from Bossier City.

The material was found during an inspection by a Louisiana State Police investigator following up on the October 15, 2012 explosion inside a bunker on property leased by Explo, and determined to be improperly stored, which resulted in a criminal investigation and several arrests.

In a letter dated July 22, the EPA advised the Army that it had "contributed to the illegal storage and handling of the waste explosives, thereby creating an imminent and substantial endangerment to public health and the environment." As a result, the Army has been ordered to eliminate the propellant, despite their previous objections.

The EPA notes that, "As this material ages, it becomes more unstable, increasing the chances of an uncontrolled explosion," such as the one that did occur in October 2012.

"We need the Department of Justice, and the Attorney General to get on the Army's case and move them along," said Representative Thompson.

State legislators were tasked with removing the materials and have also laid blame squarely on the U.S. Army. The cost for cleanup is estimated to be $23 million.

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