Camp Minden burn chamber finishes destroying propellant - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Camp Minden burn chamber finishes destroying propellant

(Source: Jeff Ferrell/KSLA) (Source: Jeff Ferrell/KSLA)
The burn chamber arrived at Camp Minden in February of 2016 as part of a plan to dispose of millions of pounds of  explosive materials. (Source: Louisiana State Police) The burn chamber arrived at Camp Minden in February of 2016 as part of a plan to dispose of millions of pounds of explosive materials. (Source: Louisiana State Police)
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    Webster S.O. confirms bunker explosion at Camp Minden

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    Tuesday, October 30 2012 2:29 AM EDT2012-10-30 06:29:21 GMT
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    Nov 12, 2016 11:15 PM2016-11-13 04:15:00 GMT
    (Source: ESI)(Source: ESI)

    Some residents are up in arms about the possibility of a permanent hazardous waste disposal site being created at Camp Minden. The idea is expected to be the topic of conversation and likely heated debate at a Citizens Advisory Group meeting at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 14 in the Family Life Center at First Baptist Church in Doyline.

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    Some residents are up in arms about the possibility of a permanent hazardous waste disposal site being created at Camp Minden. The idea is expected to be the topic of conversation and likely heated debate at a Citizens Advisory Group meeting at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 14 in the Family Life Center at First Baptist Church in Doyline.

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  • Contractor makes case for permanent disposal site at Camp Minden

    Contractor makes case for permanent disposal site at Camp Minden

    Wednesday, November 16 2016 12:55 AM EST2016-11-16 05:55:27 GMT
    (Source: Jeff Ferrell/KSLA)(Source: Jeff Ferrell/KSLA)

    Explosive Service International says they are running a tight, clean ship disposing of artillery propellant at Camp Minden and could help the local economy if they're allowed to stay open permanently.

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    Explosive Service International says they are running a tight, clean ship disposing of artillery propellant at Camp Minden and could help the local economy if they're allowed to stay open permanently.

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  • Residents near Camp Minden still uneasy about explosives disposal

    Residents near Camp Minden still uneasy about explosives disposal

    Friday, February 26 2016 6:37 PM EST2016-02-26 23:37:40 GMT
    Friday, March 11 2016 10:30 PM EST2016-03-12 03:30:10 GMT
    Construction underway at the site of the explosives incinerator at Camp Minden. (Source: KSLA News 12)Construction underway at the site of the explosives incinerator at Camp Minden. (Source: KSLA News 12)

    A member of a citizens advisory group says he no longer has as many concerns about plans to dispose of nearly 16 million pounds of M6 propellant improperly stored at Camp Minden. But that still might not yet be true of residents near the burn site.

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    A member of a citizens advisory group says he no longer has as many concerns about plans to dispose of nearly 16 million pounds of M6 propellant improperly stored at Camp Minden. But that still might not yet be true of residents near the burn site.

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  • Camp Minden bunker blast RELATED CONTENT SIDEBAR

    Related content

    Tuesday, November 13 2012 10:54 AM EST2012-11-13 15:54:12 GMT
    Explosion from Camp Minden shows up on radar Webster S.O. confirms bunker explosion at Camp MindenMore >>
    Explosion from Camp Minden shows up on radar Webster S.O. confirms bunker explosion at Camp MindenMore >>
CAMP MINDEN, LA (KSLA) -

A major objective, the destruction of nearly 16 million pounds of M6 artillery propellant at Camp Minden, has been reached.

Years ago, the explosives were found improperly stored at Explo Systems' operations at the installation at Doyline.

The discovery was made during the investigation of an explosion that shook the surrounding area the night of Oct. 15, 2012.

Now another question remains.

Should the burn chamber stay open permanently?

The yearlong effort to destroy all the Cold War-era explosives wrapped up late Wednesday.

But controversy remains over whether the burn chamber will become a permanent disposal site.

Baton Rouge-based Explosive Service International (ESI), the contractor tasked with disposing of the propellant, wants to keep the burn chamber open permanently to destroy what it described as hazardous, non-toxic waste.

"We developed something that is world class, and it truly is world class. There's nothing in the world like this equipment that we have right here in our own state where I was born and raised," said Jason Poe, vice president of ESI.

Others, citing safety and environmental concerns, want ESI to abide by its original contract and dismantle the burn chamber once its job is completed.

"How can you justify this level of uncertainty here, putting this 0.7 of a mile from somebody's home, putting it 1.7 miles from the new Haughton Middle School, which is going to house 1,000 students?" asked Brian Salvatore, a chemistry professor at LSU-Shreveport.

ESI still has several weeks of work ahead at Camp Minden, including cleanup of the 92 bunkers that held the propellant.

To stay, ESI would have to negotiate a new lease agreement with the Louisiana Military Department.

The company has not yet had formal conversations with the Military Department about a new lease, Poe said.

The question now is about who will make the final decision on whether the burn chamber and ESI can stay and operate at Camp Minden.

The answer depends on who you ask. 

Some say it will come down Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards making a decision. 

But Maj. Gen. Glenn H. Curtis, adjutant general for the Louisiana Army National Guard, has been very clear that it will be up to the people of Webster Parish and that they will have to ask for it specifically to stay, Louisiana Army National Guard spokesman Col. Ed Bush said.

Earlier this week, the Webster Police Jury rescinded a resolution that would have told ESI to remove the burn chamber from their parish.

Police Jury President Jim Bonsall said jurors, instead, voted 7-4 to remain neutral on the issue.

Copyright 2017 KSLA. All rights reserved.

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