State to take ownership of M6 propellant

Residents react to state's plan burn off Explo's M6 propellant
Published: Sep. 23, 2013 at 10:35 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 7, 2013 at 10:35 PM CDT
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Major General Glenn Curtis with the Louisiana National Guard says they are ready to confiscate...
Major General Glenn Curtis with the Louisiana National Guard says they are ready to confiscate millions of pounds of Explo's M6 propellant and destroy it.

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - The Louisiana National Guard is prepared to take possession of the 10 million pounds of M6 propellant accumulated by Explo at Camp Minden and dispose of it.

State officials say that when Explo filed for bankruptcy, it's property was considered frozen by the courts. In other words, nobody could take it. But that changed on Monday.

The Louisiana National Guard asked a federal judge to unfreeze property known as M6 Propellant. That's the material that Louisiana State Police deemed improperly stored on the grounds of Camp Minden. That discovery resulted in the evacuation of the town of Doyline, a civil lawsuit, and a criminal investigation.

After the discovery back in October 2012, Explo and authorities looked for ways to get rid of the 10 million pounds of M6. Nearly a year later, the materials, while considered safely stored, still sit on Camp Minden grounds.

"We would take that propellant that's stored and basically do a burn process to get rid of it," said Major General Glenn Curtis with the Louisiana National Guard, who says they are ready to confiscate the materials and destroy it.

"We've worked with the EPA and the ATF through a process they have approved for us to burn it, if and when we get the funding to do so," said Curtis.

The state is asking for $30 million from the federal government to help with the enormous task ahead.

"The big caveat for us is we're still waiting on the federal funds. We're trying to get these immediately. The benefits are, for us, we put the area back in training, for the local area it's a safety issue," said Curtis.

According to the motion filed by the state's attorneys, M6 is not the only material owned by Explo. Court documents list about eight other materials still on property.

Those materials and the M6 cannot be sold by Explo. The state's motion states that "The debtor's hope of reorganization is based upon the sale of explosive materials that neither it nor it's bankruptcy estate possesses a lawful right to use or sell."

The Louisiana State Police revoked Explo's license after six Explo employees were indicted by a grand jury back in June.

The revocation is pending the outcome of the criminal charges. The criminal case is still slated to move forward.

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