Evaluations of Camp Minden disposal methods to begin - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Evaluations of Camp Minden disposal methods to begin

A decision on how to dispose of 15 million pounds of M6 propellant is expected in April (Source: Louisiana State Police) A decision on how to dispose of 15 million pounds of M6 propellant is expected in April (Source: Louisiana State Police)
SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - We are getting closer to a final solution on the best way to properly dispose of 15 million pounds of cold war era artillery propellant improperly stored at Camp Minden.

While the M6 propellant's very existence is described as a 'ticking time bomb,' critics are relieved an alternative to open tray burning is now closer to reality.

"We're well represented. Our interests are going to be well looked after," said Brian Salvatore.

LSU-Shreveport Chemistry Professor Brian Salvatore became one of the first to fight against the open tray burning of all that improperly stored M6 artillery propellant at Camp Minden.

Starting this week, the Louisiana Military Department will begin reviewing 10 bids to destroy the nearly 15 million pounds of propellant with a different method.

"I'm feeling kind of optimistic. Although we all have to realize that there is no perfect solution, it's just, I suppose the perfect solution would be to go back in a time machine and prevent all this from ever happening," said Salvatore.

The evaluation team includes two members from the dialogue committee, a committee created after a huge backlash from the public which ultimately led to an abrupt about-face by several agencies, on how to rid the area of that cold war era artillery propellant.

"They are listening to us, especially that we want the safest method possible to be used, especially for the workers that will be out there and the citizens," said Rebecca Shelley Sherrard, a Doyline Resident.

"We have seen democracy in action, we have stopped the open burn, and now the rest of the fight is to win the safest possible solution to best protect the community," said Frances Kelley of Louisiana Progress Action.

Committee members we spoke with each told us they preferred the process that uses super pressurized water to speed up the oxidation process, pulling apart the dangerous chemicals. But members of the dialogue committee caution that the fight is not over - just yet.

"I don't want the public to lose sight that just because we're not going to be open burning, we still need to be paying close attention to the method that's chosen," said Sherrard.

Salvatore believes we will know which bid wins the first week of April. The deadline for the choice is April 15.

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