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Burn chamber working as designed

by Minden Press-Herald

DOYLINE — Following the observation of the contained burn chamber site at Camp Minden, Dr. Slawo Lomnicki says everything is working as it was designed.

Lomnicki, a representative for the Camp Minden Citizens Advisory Group, observed three days of the contained burn system during the comprehensive performance test set by the Environmental Protection Agency. The most important thing, he says, is that 1.4 million pounds of demilitarized M6 artillery propellant has been destroyed.

“The first two days was just full load of normal operation, and the last day was the extra testing of the packaging material,” he said. “I participated in discussion with the EPA, LDEQ, ESI and the contractor El Dorado hired to do the testing, and I can say everything was quite transparent. There were not any hidden places or anything. From that perspective, it went very well.”

Before testing, however, the unit had to run at full capacity for a certain number of hours, he said.

“The CPT requires that the operation run 700 hours at its full operating capacity before you can run the test,” he said. “This is an EPA requirement. You need to run it at full capacity.”

He gave a presentation, taking the Camp Minden CAG through the process, step by step, showing exactly what took place and the emissions that came from the stacks after each burn.

He says almost zero emissions came from the stack, or the pollution abatement system, and all that could be seen were heat waves coming from the system.

Col. Ron Stuckey says the unit is shut down for the moment until the test results from the CPT come in.

So far, five magazines, or bunkers, have been emptied, he reported, adding the next scheduled sampling for groundwater wells is set for Tuesday.

He also reported that five shipments of packaging material, such as plastic bags and other packaging materials, have been made to the Webster Parish Landfill, assuring that no toxic or hazardous waste was found in the packaging before shipment.

“They’ve generated some ash and collected some ash, but no ash has been shipped off the installation,” he said.

Chemist Wilma Subra gave an update on the ash content before the CPT, saying all the materials tested in the ash are below acceptable levels, which is good.

“What the real issue is if you buried the ash in a landfill and it leached out, would it contaminate the groundwater,” she said.

She went through the results from two different laboratories, GCAL and Ana-Lab Corp., saying the results show that if this ash is buried, it will not contaminate the groundwater.

“This means that it’s not a hazardous waste,” she said. “Whatever kind of container they have it in, they can dispose of it not as a hazardous waste. This is a very positive aspect of this unit working really well and generating an ash that is not hazardous waste.”

She says during the CPT, the stack emissions all showed non-detect, which means the sampling equipment did not pick up on any, or very little, volatiles.

The next CAG meeting will be at 6:30 p.m., Monday, July 11, at First Baptist Church in Doyline. In August, the Army National Guard will attend to present the next phase of the groundwater sampling. The actual sampling will not take place until sometime later this year, officials said.

FBC Doyline is located at 619 College St.

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