Washington– Congressman John Fleming, M.D. released the following statement after learning that the Environmental Protection Agency asked for additional oversight costs, estimated to be $8 million, to dispose of the roughly 15 million pounds of M6 propellant stored in igloos at Camp Minden. The demand for additional oversight costs is delaying the process of hiring a contractor so that disposal can begin.
“The Dialogue Committee and the community as a whole have been working diligently with the EPA to find an alternative solution to open burn. Until recently we thought a contract would be approved within days. At the last minute, the EPA has asked for millions more in oversight costs, on top of the $1.2 million Louisiana has already paid EPA for oversight costs. It is extortion from an agency whose budget this year is $8.1 billion.”
“We cannot afford to wait any longer and risk an explosion that could harm both the community and the environment. If it weren’t for this outrageous bait and switch tactic by the EPA, we could have contractors on the ground within weeks beginning work on removal of the dangerous materials. I will insist the EPA rescind its request immediately so that the Guard can move forward as planned. Everyone has acted in good faith these last few months. I won’t let the EPA bring it all down now.”
Dr. John Fleming is Chairman of the Natural Resources Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs and is a member of the House Armed Services Committee. He is a physician and small business owner and represents the 4th Congressional District of Louisiana.