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Feds: EPA blackout won’t impact area

by Minden Press-Herald

The Environmental Protection Agency’s media blackout won’t darken information released about the air quality around Camp Minden and the contained burn chamber, according to federal officials.

On Tuesday, the Trump administration clamped down on the agency and instituted a media blackout, which set prohibitions banning press releases, blog updates or posts to the agency’s social media accounts.

Following the blackout, questions were raised on how, and if, the agency would continue to provide information to the public on the air quality around Camp Minden as the millions of pounds of M6 propellant is being destroyed.

“EPA fully intends to continue to provide information to the public,” David Gray, EPA Office of External Affairs Director said in an email to the Press-Herald. “On Monday night our team held a community meeting and added materials to our website.”

During the community meeting at the Minden Community House, the EPA officials discussed recent air quality samples taken around Camp Minden during the burning of M6 propellant, the clean burning igniter and status of the amount of M6 that has been destroyed.

Gray pointed out the agency continues to inform communities.

“Today (Wednesday), our team is delivering a speech on sustainable materials management in Houston,” he said. “We plan to attend the groundbreaking ceremony with the community at Eagle Pitcher Superfund site in Oklahoma on Friday.”

Gray said a fresh look at public affairs and communications processes is common practice for any new administration and a short pause in some activities allows for this assessment.

The ban on the agency comes days after the Trump administration issued orders barring external communications at other federal agencies, including the departments of Transportation, Agriculture and Interior.

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