CAMP MINDEN, LA (KSLA) - It has finally been put in writing that the Army will pay for the clean up efforts at Camp Minden.
It's been a long time coming but with the new agreement, progress is now mandatory and there's no sure date just yet but clean up is expected to begin sometime in 2015. Officials say this is only the beginning. For 30 days per federal law, citizens will have the chance to voice their opinions on the terms of the agreement. Those opinions will help to move the process along and will even help to determine the method that will be used to carry out the clean up.
"Certainly I encourage everyone once they know that it's out there for the public comment to please submit their public comment. I'm also going to talk to the regional administrator out of Dallas and tell him the concerns that I've heard today about open burning versus incineration and just give him a heads up on how the folks feel" says Secretary of Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality Peggy Hatch.
The military will put forth the millions needed to pay for the cleanup but residents are now concerned about how they are going to go about cleaning up the mess.
"I'm concerned about before the explosion, during the explosion, and the after effects," said Vanessa Mayfield.
"There are several stipulations that the army had to be held accountable for, and it did not do that so for that reason the army was really at fault, Explo was at fault first but the army stood second in line," said Major General Glenn Curtis.
Officials mentioned conducting an open burn, or using an incinerator as possible methods for cleanup but they say that the Environmental Protection Agency will evaluate the situation thoroughly before making a decision. However residents just want the nightmare to end.
"We should have specialist there telling us what the damages are if it's burned openly as compared to being done another way," said Mayfield.
Officials say that there is economic incentive for a quick and efficient clean up and that this won't be a drawn out process. Although it took some time to secure the agreement, officials say that handling the funding of the clean up was ultimately the Army's responsibility.