House Bill 11, which would ban the practice of open burning munitions in the state, will more than likely be pulled.
Author Rep. Gene Reynolds, District 10, says instead, he and co-author Rep. Terry Brown, District 22, will offer a House Concurrent Resolution that will accomplish most of what they are asking.
“HB11 for all practical purposes is dead,” Reynolds said, “and once we get HCR 118 passed, I’m probably going to pull the bill. With the HCR, we’re still getting most of what we want.”
HCR118, if passed, will prompt the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality to conduct testing of soil, air and water around Clean Harbors LLC in Colfax and report back to the joint committees – Environmental for the Senate and Natural Resources for the House – within six months with their findings.
The resolution would also call for a dialogue committee in Colfax much like the one formed for Camp Minden in early 2015, Reynolds says, and would bring Clean Harbors, the DEQ and the community to the table to discuss alternative ways to destroy munitions.
Reynolds says the bill met with strong opposition as lobbyists and others began making the bill about Clean Harbors, when in fact it was in reaction to the proposed open burn of nearly 16 million pounds of M6 propellant at Camp Minden.
“The intent was to stop the open burn of munitions following what happened at Camp Minden,” he said. “I see no point in bringing a bill that can’t win.”
It barely made it out of committee May 4, with a vote of 9-8.
HCR 118 will be heard Wednesday.