By a unanimous vote Tuesday, the Webster Parish Police Jury added their voices to other public bodies and citizens’ groups in the area in petitioning the Environmental Protection Agency to remove M6 propellant from Camp Minden.

But, the police jury’s resolution will be worded differently from most others. Members do not intend to question the method of disposal as much as they want to emphasize the need for prompt action in the propellant’s removal.

“We have to be careful not to say we’re against open tray burn,” jury president Jim Bonsall said during a committee meeting prior to the public body’s monthly meeting. “It still might be the way it needs to be, but it has to be proven it is the safest.”

Bonsall said at some point the EPA and the local delegation has to come to agreement on the safest way to remove the M6.

“We’ve got to be thinking about it sitting out there getting more unstable and older,” he said. “It’s not about burning it, it’s about disposing of it. If you burn it or whatever, you’ll get some emissions for sure. We want to believe whatever they decide is safest without the danger of emission.”

Attorney Patrick Jackson, who represents the police jury, said the EPA is supposed to be the resident expert on the propellant and the best and safest method of disposal. It is the EPA, which dictated this methodology for disposal, he added.

“We’ve relied on the EPA to say this is the way you’re supposed to do it. When they put the arm on the Army to put up the money (for disposal), the EPA mandated open tray burn,” Jackson explained. “The state has had no flexibility. The state has some expertise, but not that of the EPA.”

Part of the problem, which has caused such an outcry over the disposal method and confusion over what’s being dealt with at Camp Minden, has been the EPA’s failure to let the public know what’s going on.

“The EPA did such a poor job of educating the public that outside influences have come in to kind of destabilize the integrity of the process,” Jackson said. “Because the EPA is being quiet, the only voices being heard are these outside voices. And, the state has been led to believe by the EPA that there are no other choices.”

There’s another part of the possible pollution equation that has gone practically unnoticed by the public in the Camp Minden area, Jackson pointed out.

“We’re wrapping all this into an M6 problem and that’s not true. That was an ammunition plant and it did a lot of stuff for a long time,” he said. “People in the most recent history have forgotten that and what it was put there for. There are products in the public domain when we talk about pollution levels that precede all this.”

Quoting Bonsall, Jackson said people are coming up with their own theories and others begin giving credibility to people who understand only a small piece of the puzzle.

Representatives of the EPA at previous meetings may not have been authorized to speak on behalf of the agency, Jackson pointed out. That, he believes, could be why the agency has seemed to be silent.

“They seem to be reticent to have someone to step forward,” he said. “They need a much higher level person to speak for the EPA. They need to find someone to come to the public that has the authority to speak on behalf of the EPA.”

Jackson and the jury’s secretary-treasurer, Ronda Carnahan, will prepare the resolution for approval by the body.

18 COMMENTS

  1. Not questioning the method of disposal is insane. We know there is technology out there to safely dispose of this stuff. We CAN NOT and WILL NOT allow them to open burn this military garbage in our backyard. We tolerated a lot of abuses from Explo to the largest stockpile of M6 military trash in US history We will not stand by and let them pollute our air with cancer causing toxins. The data that is being collected to prove the open burn an unsafe method has not been disputed by the EPA Looks like this fight remains with the people. Power to the people!

  2. As far as outsiders influence? I hope Mr. Jackson does a better job in the future with his comments… It was me that raised the red flag at the 1st meeting and I am a lifelong resident of Doyline (59 yrs) and I can ASSURE Mr. Jackson that my research is Factual and precise. The people that started this grassroots movement to protect not only our children but his as well, have talked to Toxicologist and We have brought our Experts to the table at every meeting. The truth WILL prevail in the end.

  3. So 9,000 Concerned Citizens are now being called “outside influences” by their own representation on the Webster Parish Police Jury. What is the real motive behind Jackson’s comments. The EPA is silent now, because they data they had was demonstrated to be fraudulent, Mr. Bonsall. And you still cannot recognize that? #LouisianaCorruption

  4. Perhaps you arent hearing from the EPA because they know they were wrong. They, themselves declared open tray burning to be unsafe in 2010. Have ALL of you ready the information that has been presented. Look around the state, travel down Bellevue Road. Test the water in Dorcheat Bayou. Take a hard look at our cancer rate in Louisiana and then tell us the EPA knows best. Is this really what you want for your children and grandchildren?

  5. Lord Help the Citizens of Webster Parish . We need to fill the room every time these politicians meet , they need supervision , Starting to believe their own Majic Smile

  6. What are they afraid of?? Are they not voted into office by the people? Do they not represent the people, or are they just the same old politicians who speak of “the people” and when voted in follow the money?

  7. I will say this……my child will NOT be at school if they do this. Where we live in dangerous enough but that school is RIGHT there. I bet these people that are for the burn don’t have children in danger!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. I hope I am wrong, but this reads to me, like they really don’t know whats going on, and haven’t taken the time to find out…….as the governing parish body, the elected members of the Police Jury should IMO be joining the movement to protect its citizens, from these obviously harmful chemicals, Why is that so hard to understand.? Are we so used to being dumped on, both politically and environmentally,that we just don’t give a rip? What does he mean by “outside voices”? I thought we were waiting on the LADEQ..!!

  9. Naughty distraction maneuver if Mr Jackson says “outside influences have come in to kind of destabilize the integrity of the process,” this is no privat problem !!!!!!!!!!! this is a health problem to all of us. the toxic fallout will come down wherever the wind blows it!!! so the more “outside” help you can get the better. why dont you ask greenpeace for help ?. some years ago they made a research on how to dispos m6 safely.

  10. read this
    —-Disposal of Chemical Weapons: Alternative Technologies—————-
    https://www.princeton.edu/~ota/disk1/1992/9210/921005.PDF

    Alternative technologies for the detoxification of chemical weapons : an information document

    by Picardi, A Johnston, Paul Stringer, Ruth. — Greenpeace international Publisher: Washington, DC 1991Availability: Items available for loan: [623.458/9 Picardi] (1).
    ( http://catalogue.sipri.org/cgi-bin/koha/opac-search.pl?q=ccl%3D%2528su%253A%257Bhazardous%2520waste%257D%2529%2520and%2520su-to%253AUSA&sort_by=title_az 9

    and read this online

    By Fire and Ice: Dismantling Chemical Weapons While Preserving the Environment
    von David A. Koplow

    ( https://books.google.de/books?id=OzGB9gULw-wC&pg=PA300&lpg=PA300&dq=Alternative+technologies+for+the+detoxification+of+chemical+weapons+:+an+information+document&source=bl&ots=-7CSdVymqk&sig=0aqQrW1Xe_BQM91Wjxj8QOFF9zQ&hl=de&sa=X&ei=hd7TVKCrBsrXauPogMgM&ved=0CEUQ6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q=Alternative%20technologies%20for%20the%20detoxification%20of%20chemical%20weapons%20%3A%20an%20information%20document&f=false ) its is lond about 300 pages

    just to give you an hint how much EPA and Army have known for a long time

  11. What needs to happen before people will pull their heads out of their butts and see that this open burning is truly insanity at best! I live in Minden!!!! There’s a reason crap like this outlawed!!! No means no!!!! No one with half a brain wants this done this way!!!

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